Park Service allows immigration rally on 'closed' National Mall
October 8th, 2013
02:47 PM ET
11 months ago

Park Service allows immigration rally on 'closed' National Mall

(CNN) - Despite the closure of the National Mall and monuments during the partial government shutdown, immigration advocates are holding a rally and concert. And some conservatives are crying foul.

The protestors, who are holding a march in favor of comprehensive immigration reform Tuesday, which is stalled in a stalemated Congress, are allowed to rally on the closed mall under their First Amendment rights, the National Park Service told CNN.

"Under the same First Amendment rights that are allowing Honor Flight veterans and their families to visit the veterans memorials on the National Mall, other groups will be granted access to the park for First amendement activities," spokesman Michael Litterst said.

Conservative groups have voiced outrage that the rally is allowed to take place. They said there is a double standard as veterans were locked out of the World War II Memorial last week after the government shutdown.

"[T]he Democratic Administration looks immensely foolish and ham-handed in this one," Roy Beck, head of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigrant organization, said in a statement.

Republican members of Congress aided the veterans and removed the barriers to allow the veterans to enter.

The National Park Service has furloughed more than 20,000 employees around the country, including about 300 employees who work on the mall. The agency, however, says the U.S. Park Police, which is responsible for policing the event, are not affected by the shutdown and are working "at full capacity...to protect life and property."

The Camino Americano: Concert and March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect is hosted by local and national Latino groups and two major unions - the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Immigration
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. just saying

    obama and his lawless band of leftist criminals has turned the laws of this country into a farce. this shutdown of open air monuments was done to punish kids and average citizens, yet they open them up for their supporters, many of them here illegally, to parade and demostrate to demand things from the people that have been denied access to these very same parks and monuments. welcome to the new obama america where illegals have more rights and privileges than the citizens of this country.

    wake up america, please please, please wake up.

    October 8, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Fair is fair

    Anything goes if you vote democrat

    October 8, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    It almost slipped my memory that we were having an immigration debate in this country before the bill got stalled in....that dysfunctional body The House of Destruction.

    October 8, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. tom l

    Reward your friends and punish your enemies. Blatant. No regard whatsoever. Not even trying to hide it.

    October 8, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. A True Conservative

    What a shock...we will keep veterans out of monuments....we will try to close state roads to prevent people from seeing Mount Rushmore....we will close privately funded sites such as Mount Vernon....but we allow future (or present) Democrat voters to use the national mall....what a shock.....

    October 8, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    @The Real Tom Paine
    Hope you have been well. I posted a large comment a few days ago and I hope you had a chance to see it.

    By the way, I was reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine last night and I don't think he would agree much with you about govt.

    “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer...”
    ******************
    |Government is a necessary evil, but its there mainly to keep the predations of the more powerful individuals at bay who would mistake their interests with those of the nation. Paine never would have sanctioned the kind of society that Koch Brothers want, because it would have reminded him of everything he hated about the government in Britain, with its rampant corruption and efforts to keep people like himself from rising. Don't assume that because I am left of center that I want government running everything. The last thing I want is a group of self-appointed Pharisees deciding what is good for me and my family, and that is exactly what I see with the Right wing.

    October 8, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. kirk

    We have awakened, that's why the gop is in deep doo doo.I would love nothing more than to vote gop as soon as they have something to offer the middle class . That being said, its a no brainer, hit the D and pull the lever

    October 8, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Thomas

    And some conservatives are crying foul.

    Keep it closed and the GOP will wish they didn't when election time comes .

    October 8, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Do you not see the preferential treatment by this administration?"

    Day 1: "OMG OUTRAGE!!!! They won't let veterans into the WWII Memorial!!!! Let's go yell at park rangers who are just doing their job and aren't in charge of making the decisions!!!! This is horrible and all Obama's fault!!!! He's trying to punish our veterans!!!! Where's the nearest MSM microphone willing to help me broadcast my talking points!!!!!!! I'm not trying to milk an issue involving people who I think tend to vote for the GOP!!!! This is serious!!!!"

    Day 2: "OMG OUTRAGE!!!! They allowed a group I don't agree with to have their rally on the National Mall!!!!! This is horrible and all Obama's fault!!!! He's showing favoritism for the people he thinks vote for him!!!!! Where's the nearest MSM microphone so I can spew my talking points into it and they can help me broadcast it!!!!! I'm not trying to milk an issue just because I oppose the position of the people involved, who I believe tend to vote for Dems!!!!"

    Any questions?

    October 8, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    ""Under the same First Amendment rights that are allowing Honor Flight veterans and their families to visit the veterans memorials on the National Mall, other groups will be granted access to the park for First amendement activities"

    There's no special treatment or favoritism here. NONE. Read the article first, GOPers/Teatrolls. You're only outraged because you hate Hispanics and you hate immigration reform. It's that simple.

    October 8, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Thomas

    pjm
    @Thomas NEGATIVE!!! – the VA is funded through next year.
    ========
    The VA drug and alcohol rehabilitation staff has been slashed , most are volunteering .

    call them yourself and ask them .

    .

    October 8, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Amazing. The only time the Right cares about Federal workers is when a government shutdown they initiated starts to bite them in the a$$.

    October 8, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Lady Fair – You win the right wing nut joke of the day. Congratulations!

    October 8, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. kirk

    Oh boo hook, you think I like the dems being so welcoming to this group, that's a big hell no! But despite the dems supposed catering to them for votes, your just jealous, why don't they just believe your the party of opportunity for them, if you could elaborate without insulting their intelligence, but you can't. Hard to convince someone you hate, you have their best interest.

    October 8, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. freedom

    Ransom?? What American president has every used that rhetoric against their own American people? This president is deranged, dangerous, and evil.

    October 8, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    GOP is buch of Criminals, thugs, loots, cheats.

    October 8, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. kirk

    Every solution the gop offers, like ss, Medicaid, hurts the worker and further rewards the wealthy, too many issues fit that bill, and voting for someone trying to ruin my finances is hard to do, why would I? And they tell you there's just no other way, lie lie lie, raise ss to 400 k, cap benefits and its solvent for decades, those who cry foul need look no further than the extreme inequality, where's my loopholes. Just listen to mitt let him pay 1.8%, and just don't worry where we'll make up the revenue,he planned on eliminating the interest deduction on your mortgage, nice huh?

    October 8, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government"

    You mean like massive redistribution of wealth upwards, rule by the wealthy and connected, impoverishing of the labor force to bring them to heel, preferential treatment for those with money, power, assets, connections and influence, upward economic mobility brought to a standstill for all but a chosen few, education made increasingly inaccessible, health care made increasingly inaccessible, increasingly inequitable and unequal treatment of unpopular minorities, voting rights attenuated and suppressed as much as possible, participation in and access to gov't made contingent upon status, ever increasing numbers of people dying impoverished or with nothing to pass on to their progeny(except the chosen few), etc. etc. etc.?? THOSE are the horrors visited upon us all by lack of gov't, by a return to third-world banana republic status, and THOSE are the real problems our gov't is visiting upon us all right now. You've chosen the side who wants to continue and escalate it.

    October 8, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Thomas

    @just saying
    obama and his lawless band of leftist criminals has turned the laws of this country into a farce. this shutdown of open air monuments was done to punish kids and average citizens, yet they open them up for their supporters, many of them here illegally, to parade and demostrate to demand things from the people that have been denied access to these very same parks and monuments. welcome to the new obama america where illegals have more rights and privileges than the citizens of this country.

    wake up america, please please, please wake up GW Bush and tell him we need him back the way it was .

    October 8, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Illegalsuck

    Just another example of how Obama and the Dums put illegals before American citizens. When you pick illegals before WWII vets, something is drastically wrong with this country. How bout rounding up all those at this rally, checking their immigration status and deporting them. Sad that criminals can gather and make "demands:" and pols like Pelosi applaud them.

    October 8, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    Uh, America is kinda busy going down the tubes at the moment. Could you illegals wait until we clean up our mess for awhile.

    October 8, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. The Ham

    D or R... there is no difference....

    October 8, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Democrat Party -- An Ongoing Criminal Enterprise

    Any USA citizen that would vote for a Democrat after this action is absolutley unAmerican.

    October 8, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. not illegal

    absurd and disgusting

    October 8, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    You know, if you read the article, it states right away that the Park Police have not been affected by the shutdown, so a previously scheduled event that requires them to be there will go forward. A visit to a war memorial that does not require the Park Police to be there, is not covered under the shutdown, so stow the fake outrage.

    October 8, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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