March 9, 2018
Public Citizen Seeks National Park Service Records Relating to Denial of National Mall Permit for the March for Our Lives
FOIA Request Seeks Permit Application for Student ‘Talent Show’ Set for Same Day and Time as Major March for End to Gun Violence in Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Park Service should inform the public about how and why a major national march to demand an end to gun violence in schools was denied access to the National Mall, Public Citizen said in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed late Thursday.
Public Citizen requested the complete, unredacted permit application for a student “talent show” that is to take place on the National Mall on March 25, with a rain date of March 24 – the same day the March for Our Lives is slated to take place, in the same location the March for Our Lives originally requested.
“[T]hese records are urgently needed to inform the public about actual or alleged government activity,” the FOIA request states. “[T]he public interest in whether unfair processing or some other form of government misconduct is responsible for keeping the march off the Mall, is the greatest now.”
The Park Service has said that its policy is to issue permits on a first come, first served basis. The FOIA request seeks, in part, to confirm whether the policy in this case was properly followed.
The media coverage of the scheduling conflict shows that the current public interest in this topic is great, Public Citizen’s request states.