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Americans Take Action Against US Park Closures

A round up of some of the stories from the ‘Occupy America’ movement that is springing up here and there around the country.

First we have this from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:

Rushmore blockage stirs anger in S.D.

Barring visitors from view an unexpected effect of shutdown

By Jonathan Ellis | October 5, 2013

Blocking access to trails and programs at South Dakota’s most popular attraction was one thing, but state officials didn’t expect Congress’ budget stalemate to shut down a view of Mount Rushmore.

The National Park Service placed cones along highway viewing areas outside Mount Rushmore this week, barring visitors from pulling over and taking pictures of the famed monument.

The cones first went up Oct. 1, said Dusty Johnson, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff. The state asked that they be taken down, and federal officials did so with some of them. The state was told the cones were a safety precaution to help channel cars into viewing areas rather than to bar their entrance…

What could be more safe than blocking both shoulders of a mountain highway?

The cones were down again Friday as a blizzard hit the Black Hills and plows needed access to the roads, Johnson said. He said the state would be monitoring to see whether the cones are put back along viewing areas.

“Once the snow’s off the ground, we’re going to be keeping an eye on how the cones go up,” Johnson said.

We have not been able to find any reports, one way or the other.

The Buffalo News reported that a tour group of dozens of people from western New York was unable to take pictures of the monument because highway viewing areas were coned off.

“It’s all closed up,” the newspaper quoted North Collins, N.Y., resident Hilde Werneth as saying. “They won’t even let you stop and take a picture. You can only drive by.” …

And then there is this, from the NBC Salt Lake City affiliate, KSL-TV:

Hikers climb fence into Zion National Park in protest of gov’t shutdown

By McKenzie Romero | October 5, 2013

SPRINGDALE — A heavy metal gate with a large "do not enter" sign was not enough to stop James Milligan from visiting Zion National Park on Saturday…

The group met about 8 a.m. just outside the park’s entrance, energetic about their plan despite the chill that persisted in the shadow of the red rock cliffs. The parking lot and entrance to the park looked more like a ghost town than one of Utah’s largest tourist destinations, and the gate at the end of the pedestrian bridge into the park remained locked.

They called the excursion "Occupy Zion," an act of civil disobedience in protest of the federal government shutdown that closed the park Tuesday.

Hopefully this will turn into an ‘Occupy America’ movement.

Zion park representatives met the group near the gate, warning them of possible consequences if they chose to ignore the closure and enter the park.

"We did warn them we are closed, and they seem to understand that," Aly Baltrus, a public information officer for the National Park Service said. "We are simply observing, and we’ll be taking pictures. We’re trying to let people know they can get tickets and they can get cited later, and we’re trying to get them to just follow the basic rules."

That did not deter Milligan, a Cedar City resident and manager of Zion Outfitter. "Just because they’re having a dispute in Washington doesn’t mean they can close the park and kill the town of Springdale," he said…

Melissa Norris, a St. George resident, was one of the first over the fence Saturday. Like many in the group, she took a trash bag and gloves with her in order to clean up litter on the way out…

As usual, this report never mentions whether Mt. Zion has ever been closed for any of the previous 17 government shutdowns in the past. We suspect not.

And then there is this from the Weekly Standard:

Iwo Jima Memorial Closed, Barricades Erected (Update: Vets Break Through)

By DANIEL HALPER | October 5, 2013

Another open-air memorial in the Washington area is closed and barricaded off: the Iwo Jima Memorial, just across the bridge from D.C. in Rosslyn, Virginia.

A source sends along this picture of the barricade set-up at the memorial, which is also called the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial:

"I took the picture yesterday afternoon. Those barricades had been there at least a day. People can still walk into the Memorial area, but for many elderly and disabled vets, it is important they be driven and park right next to the statue," the person who took this picture emails.

"There has been no coverage of Iwo Jima being closed and it is a routine stop for Honor Flight visitors."

The source adds: "This picture is from North Marshall Drive (100 yards up the hill from the 110) facing the only road in and out of the Memorial for cars. There are parking spots for cars and buses right next the Memorial that can only be accessed via this road…

The stop is a popular destination for veterans and tourists alike, and, in my observation, is usually completely unmanned and unguarded. But, for some reason, it’s closed to the public during this federal government shutdown.

It’s a small parking lot and a statue. It involved zero federal employees.

UPDATE: I’m told, "The Syracuse Honor Flight just knocked down the barrier and a couple hundred of them are at the Memorial now."

Alex Resila tweeted: "Bus tour knocks down Iwo Jima blockade in WashingtonDC to bring veterans through" – 2:58 PM – 5 Oct 2013

How fitting, in view of what the statue is meant to represent.

And then there is this, on the Vietnam Memorial on the DC Mall, via the NBC D.C. affiliate, WRC-TV:

Closure of War Memorials Continues to Cause Conflict

October 4, 2013

… Like the hundreds of World War II veterans who came to National Mall to pay their respects this week, a group of Vietnam veterans found a barricade blocking the way to their memorial Friday.

News4’s Mark Segraves said two U.S. Park Service Rangers manning the gate asked that the group respect the government’s shutdown but moved aside. Segraves described the exchange as pleasant and respectful.

The veterans then moved the barricade and walked down to the wall to pay their respects. But a flood of tourists followed even though the memorial is closed to the general public.

It’s a wall. How many government employees are usually there?

"The consensus among the group of Vietnam veterans was we’re going to go anyway. We’ll go through the barricade," North Carolina resident Reid Mendenhall said.

U.S. Park Police arrive to the scene, asked everyone to leave and put the barricade back into place.

Let them put back their own Barry-cades.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, October 7th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Americans Take Action Against US Park Closures”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Nothing becomes more obvious to us pedestrians than when people in authority have a little snit-fit.

    This is absolute tantrum territory, all intended to punish those who don’t care for the socialists who think they’re making a better world by redistributing wealth and creating a whole new population segment of do-nothings.

    A power-trip driven escapade like this is all-too-revealing.

    • untrainable says:

      It’s like li’l Barry is taking his ball and going home. No, wait, it’s even worse. He’s taking OUR ball and going home. HEY HE’S STEALING OUR BALL…!!!

  2. Right of the People says:

    “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, having its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    The Declaration of Independence

    It was true 237 years ago and it’s still true today. It’s our constitutional right to remove this asswipe and his cronies. Let’s take this mother back!

    • captstubby says:

      George Washington
      Second Inaugural Address
      In the City of Philadelphia
      Monday, March 4, 1793

      Fellow Citizens:

      I AM again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America. 1
      Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony. 2

      135 words long and took less than two minutes to read.

      In a simple, brief speech, Washington expresses his commitment to the Oath of Office and calls upon the people to reprimand him should he fail his duties.

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