10/14/13. ‘Let Freedom Ring’: Hundreds Storm Valley Forge National Park to Protest Shutdown’s Closure.
“Hundreds of individuals participated in a march through Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge National Park Sunday to protest the shutdown’s closure of the historic grounds that has resulted in several runners being ticketed, an organizer told TheBlaze Monday.
Organizers with conservative grassroots organization Citizens for Liberty dubbed the protest as “civil disobedience in action,” telling participants that they “do not have to stop at a man made fictional barrier which tells you to cross because of a political objective.”
“You walk around, duck under, move barrier or walk through it,” a Facebook event page’s description said. “The government cannot shut down the woods, the fields, the memorials, the grass or anything else they claim they own. You pay for it through theft of taxation, so it is there for your enjoyment. Let freedom ring!”
The protest follows news that runners were being fined $100 by park rangers for utilizing the park’s trails while the park is legally closed during the shutdown.
Pictures posted to Facebook show individuals — some even on horseback — storming past barricades and into the park with American flags.
One picture even depicts a group of individuals raising a Gadsen flag on the visitor center’s flag pole.
Steve Piotrowski added that participants, some who he said came from as far as Maryland, cleaned the park as they marched through it.
“We walked in cleaning up on the way,” Piotrowski told TheBlaze. “We also moved the barricades and set them down on the sides.”
Piotrowski said park police did not ticket anyone during the protest.
“Not one person was ticketed,” he said. “Not one ranger was even out there. No park police were present.”
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Others shared their experience on Facebook.
“[It] was a great day, I was honored to be there,” Jim Zerbe wrote on Facebook.
“I was thrilled to a part of this,” Brett Wells, added.
The National Park Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment either.”