The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCGLYNN
Philadelphia is the focal point for the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States. Beginning January 1, 1976, a continuous series of programs and activities memorializing historic events and the growth of the nation has taken place and will continue to take place throughout the remainder of the Bicentennial Year. The high point, of course, will be the July 4th celebration, when hundreds of thousands of citizens, including the President of the United States, are expected to come to Philadelphia to demonstrate their dedication to the principles upon which this nation was founded.
The plaintiffs, who are an amalgam of self-styled dissidents,
desire to engage in a counter demonstration for the avowed purpose of dramatizing the injustices of the American System as it has evolved over the last two centuries. The targets of their rhetoric are an undefined class of persons designated as the "Rich". In the language of one of their broadsides, plaintiffs proclaim that they "will fight them (the Rich) on the day they choose to celebrate their bloodsoaked rule. We will come together thousands strong, to expose their crimes and build our movement, on that day and for the great battles ahead. On to Philadelphia." (D-1)
Pursuing these objectives, plaintiffs have requested the City or the Fairmount Park Commission to provide:
2. A permit to use Washington Square Park at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution for a rally of 5,000 to 10,000 people between the hours of 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on July 4, 1976. (P-1)
3. A permit for a rock concert or cultural-political event to be held on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park from 7:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. on July 3. (P-3), (P-9)
4. A permit to erect a tent city housing 2,000 people along Benjamin Franklin Parkway or in Fairmount Park for the period June 25, 1976 to July 6, 1976. (P-2)
5. A permit to erect a canopy-covered pavilion measuring 75 feet X 75 feet in Washington Square Park to graphically display the role of the working class.
The City and the Park Commission rejected these applications but offered alternative plans which the plaintiffs deem unacceptable. Plaintiffs then brought this action asserting a violation of their First Amendment Rights and they ask the Court to compel the City and the Fairmount Park Commission to issue the permits as requested.
As a point of departure, it would be well to remember that the use of streets, parks, and other public places ". . . has, from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights, and liberties of citizens." Hague v. CIO, 307 U.S. 496, 515, 59 S. Ct. 954, 964, 83 L. Ed. 1423 (1939). But we must also keep in mind, the admonition of Mr. Justice Goldberg speaking for the Court in Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 85 S. Ct. 453, 13 L. Ed. 2d 471 (1965), that "the rights of free speech and assembly, while fundamental in our democratic society, still do not mean that everyone with opinions or beliefs to express may address a group at any public place and at any time. The constitutional guarantee of ...