WASHINGTON - Many groups are planning to come to Washington, D.C. to protest the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.
The National Park Service has set aside the mall, the ellipse, the Lincoln memorial and other prime locations for the exclusive use of the Presidential Inaugural Committee which has the right of first refusal. This fact has placed the plans of some groups on hold.
Photos of documents obtained by FOX 5 show the Presidential Inaugural Committee has the right of first refusal to the Mall, the ellipse, the Lincoln Memorial, Independence Avenue, Constitution Avenue as well as other locations.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee also has the right to Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette park and the mall before and after the inauguration.
Mara Verheyden Hilliard is with the partnership for civil justice, a group that looks out for first amendment rights, and she says that, “We are faced with an extraordinary situation where you have the PIC, the Trump Inaugural committee being allowed to make the decision if and where people will be allowed to demonstrate in Washington D.C. against the incoming trump administration.”
There are just 49 days to go before the inauguration, and there is vast uncertainty as to where these groups – who have already applied for permits – will be able to demonstrate.
"Everybody is being put on hold and they are being put off which completely obstructs the ability to organize, to make plans to come, disruptive and violating people's free speech rights.”
Mike Litterst with the National Park Service says groups that have applied for permits to demonstrate are now waiting to see what the PIC will choose.
"That is correct because they are first in the cue we have to wait to see what they want to do...like many organizers they are not sure where their events are going to take place and until the election you don't know what the incoming president wants to do for their inaugural activities so they reserve a large number of areas, some they’re not likely to use, once they figure out what they are going to do and not going to do they will withdraw the applications to some of those sites making it available for other applicants"
There are less than two months to go and they have yet to make those choices.