Conducting an Event on United States Capitol Grounds
In order to ensure the safety and convenience of all people in the exercise of their First Amendment right to free expression and to visit the U.S. Capitol, and to ensure the orderly conduct of Congressional business, the following conditions apply to U.S. Capitol Police Board Permitted Demonstration Activities conducted on U.S. Capitol Grounds. Demonstration activity is prohibited and will not be permitted inside any Capitol Buildings. Timeliness of Application: Applications must be submitted at least one hundred twenty (120) hours, or five (5) days, in advance of the activity to guarantee processing. Additionally, demonstration applications must satisfy all requirements stated herein before processing can be completed; therefore it is imperative that the spokesperson responds promptly to all queries from the Special Events Coordinator.
Duration of Activity: No permitted activity may exceed twenty-four (24) consecutive hours, or seven (7) consecutive days, including time for set-up and clean-up. When completing the application, spokespersons should include set-up and clean-up time in the time requested.
Signs, Banners and Placards: Signs, banners, and placards are permitted as a part of a permitted activity. All supports for these items must not exceed three quarters (¾) of an inch at their largest point, have dull ends, and made entirely of wood. There can be no nails, screws, or bolt-type fastening devices protruding from the wooden supports. These items may not be used to offer any item for sale, to solicit contributions or contain any form of advertising. Any display of signs, banners, placards, and related items is strictly prohibited inside all Capitol Buildings.
Props and Equipment: Props, equipment and other movable facilities, including but not limited to stages, risers, chairs, tables, and sound equipment, that are reasonably necessary for and integral to the demonstration activity shall be permitted provided that prior notice is given on the application and the size, location and structure of the items conforms to the reasonable conditions, limitations and restrictions provided for by the Capitol Police Board.
Stages, risers, and platforms will not be greater than two (2) feet in height. Props and equipment may not exceed fifteen (15) feet in height. Shelters: Setting up, placement or storage of camping equipment, tents, sleeping bags, bedrolls, bedding or a shelter of any kind is prohibited at all times.
Sound Amplification Equipment: Sound amplification is permitted. However, the sound must be controlled so that it does not disrupt the orderly business of the Congress or unreasonably disturb nonparticipating persons in the exercise of their rights or use of the Capitol Grounds. All sound equipment must be furnished by the applicant and positioned so as to face away from all Capitol Buildings. Electrical power for sound equipment is available in the West Front, Grassy Area and the Upper Senate Park.
Distribution of Literature: Literature may be distributed to interested persons, at no charge, as a part of a permitted activity. Distribution of literature is prohibited inside all Capitol Buildings. Condition of Grounds: Immediately upon the scheduled conclusion of a permitted activity, all props, equipment and facilities must be removed from Capitol Grounds, and the spokesperson shall take such action as may be necessary so as to leave the space utilized by the activity in the same condition which existed immediately prior to the commencement of the activity. It is prohibited at any time to climb, remove or in any way injure any statue, seat, wall, fountain, light poles, elevator towers, or other erection or architectural feature, or any tree, shrub or
landscaping feature within the Capitol Grounds. No person may stand or otherwise enter upon any of the Capitol Visitor Center skylights, fountains, planters, walls, surface level air grates and generators.
Marches: Marches are permitted to pass through Capitol Grounds provided the march does not disrupt the orderly business of Congress, or impede the equal access by others to Capitol Buildings. Generally, marchers will be required to remain on sidewalks and obey all traffic signals and signs.
Solicitation: It is prohibited at all times to offer any item for sale, or solicit fares, alms, or contributions or display any form of advertising on Capitol Grounds.
Official Functions of the Congress: In the event an official function of Congress is scheduled that conflicts with an event for which a permit has been issued, participants must clear the involved area prior to the official function, and may return after the function has concluded or departed Capitol Grounds.
Filming and Photography: The use of camera equipment to film or photograph on Capitol Grounds is permitted, provided the photographs or film are for private or other non-commercial use. Non-commercial documentary or historical filming is permitted on a case-by-case basis. The use of tripods or other film or photography enhancement equipment requires special permission, and is limited to grassy areas where pedestrian or vehicular traffic will not be impeded.
Foot Races: Foot races are permitted to pass through Capitol Grounds. Foot races must be conducted so as not to impede passage through the North or South Barricades on the East Front of Capitol Square and routes of travel
must conform to the reasonable conditions, limitations, and restrictions set by the Capitol Police Board. The solicitation, collection, or transfer of monies including but not limited to registration fees, as well as the display or
use of commercial logos or related advertising or signage, is prohibited at all times on Capitol Grounds.
Musical Performances: Musical performances are permitted in the Upper Senate Park. On weekends, musical performances are also allowed on the West Front.
Sleeping or Lying Down: Sleeping or lying down is prohibited at all times on any paved or improved area including, but not limited to, streets, roads, sidewalks, steps, curbs, gutters, doorways, alcoves, and walls. Sleeping or lying down is prohibited on any unimproved (grassy) area of the Capitol Grounds from one-half (½) hour after sunset to one-half (½) hour before sunrise.
Parking: There is no parking available for private automobiles, buses, or other vehicles on Capitol Grounds. Buses may utilize Garfield Circle, at the intersection of First Street and Maryland Avenue, S.W., and Union
Station, at 50 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., to drop off passengers.
Prohibited Items: The following items are prohibited at all times on Capitol Grounds: any firearm, explosive, club, missile, chemical or other incendiary device or other weapon. It is also prohibited to use or display any
open flame including, but not limited to, ignited candles, torches, lanterns, or lamps. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are permitted.