Making a political statement is not what I'm mainly thinking about here, although it is part of the picture. My primary concerns with paying for a permit in order to have a protest are:
• This would be paying government to do something we should clearly have the right to do without any payment, thereby encouraging their abhorrent and unconstitutional practice of making the exercise of our rights conditional
• This would be a direct transfer of money from us to the government in order to accomplish something that I think we can accomplish virtually just as effectively *without* paying them
Paying for a booth at Pride is different, although honestly I'm not a huge fan of that expenditure either. In that case, the organizers of the Pride festival are the ones paying a fee to the government, and they will be paying this fee regardless of whether we have a booth there or not (although it is true that if large numbers of people stopped paying for booths, the government would probably reduce its fee in order to allow the politically popular event to continue to happen and raise money for its beneficiaries).
Meeting in the library does not involve us paying the government a dime. Paying to have arguments in the Voter Handbook does, and it is a direct payment, but in that case I think the "bang for the buck" is such a good deal that the cause of freedom is clearly helped rather than hurt by the payment. I don't know of any other way we could effectively reach all the registered voters in San Francisco for a similar cost, not to mention the value of having our arguments published in print and online as part of the official historical record of the election. Besides which, I think running elections is one of the more legitimate functions of government, and charging people to publish arguments in the Voter Handbook seems like a fair and legitimate way of covering the cost of mailing these materials to voters as well as a positive mechanism for allowing various uncensored opinions to be officially represented.
If we don't have to pay the government to be on the sidewalk, and you and others are unwilling to engage in civil disobedience at the event, then I suggest we just do our event on the sidewalk rather than paying to be in the plaza. I don't think this will detract significantly from our visibility to the public.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
P.S. -- Too bad about the War Tax Resistors League, it would have been especially nice to have their participation to make it more of a transpartisan event. Let's try to think of other left-leaning groups that might be interested. Some other groups on the fiscal conservative side I can contact include the Log Cabin Republicans and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco, as well as individual SF political figures, but I'll wait till after we've had a chance to meet this Saturday and firm up the event.