About 2 million bikers are on their way to the nation’s capital, a place that has relatively relaxed rules concerning the exercise of First Amendment rights, and it’s only in D.C. that they won’t be bothered while snarling city traffic on 9/11.
“It is not a crime to parade” through the city without a permit, Ted Gest, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, told U.S. News.
But, Gest cautioned, “I don’t think we can speculate on what penalties the motorcycle riders might be subjected to for traffic or other offenses because we don’t know what they’re going to do.”
The “2 Million Bikers to D.C.” demonstration was announced in August and its last-minute request for a National Park Service event permit was denied.
Organizers had sought the temporary closure of some city roads and intersections to allow an efficient inflow and outflow of riders from the National Mall area, but park service spokesperson Carol Johnson told The Blaze “it would cause a severe service disruption of traffic… We couldn’t provide adequate park police services and park police escorts and it would require a lot of road closures so it was denied.”
In a Friday post on Facebook, the organizers apologized to city residents for what will likely be gridlock as the patriotic bikers rev their engines in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and the U.S. soldiers who shipped off to fight al-Qaida in Afghanistan 12 years ago.
“What could have been a one or two hour ride through will now likely be an all day event,” the organizers said. The plan is to meet up outside D.C. and cross into the city sometime after 11 a.m. The exact route isn’t being made public, they said, because of “security purposes.”