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Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Not-so-free speech

In an unprecedented action, the ANSWER Coalition today received citations fining the organization $10,000 for the placement of posters announcing the September 15 March on Washington DC. The fines come after a campaign led by FOX news calling for the DC government to take action against those putting up posters for the September 15 demonstration. Tens of thousands of dollars in additional fines are expected in the coming days. Bush’s Interior Department is threatening similar actions against ANSWER. The September 15 posters are legal and conform to city regulations.

This is part of a systematic effort to disrupt the organizing for the September 15 Mass March that is timed to coincide with the report of General Petraeus and the debate in Congress on the Iraq war. Iraq war veterans and their families will lead this dramatic march from the White House to the Congress on September 15. The last thing the government wants is to see the streets of Washington DC fill up with throngs of anti-war protesters right in the middle of the debate. But we will not be stopped. Organizing for this demonstration is taking place in cities and towns throughout the country.

The best way to take action is to call the Director of Department of Public Works, William O. Howland, Jr. at 202-673-6833, and the Mayor of DC, Adrian Fenty, at 202-724-8876. You can also send a letter or fax by clicking this link.
It's unfortunate that the antiwar movement couldn't come together in action. United for Peace & Justice still won't endorse the perfectly-timed ANSWER-initiated Sept. 15 action (although they do list it on their calendar), while their own campaign which calls for "10 Massive Demonstrations for Peace Across the U.S. on October 27" still has not a single actual action associated with it - indeed, the only action currently announced for October 27 is another ANSWER-initiated march in San Francisco.

Nevertheless, wherever you stand on any of this, an injury to one is an injury to all, and if the government (with the prodding of FOX News) succeeds in imposing fines on ANSWER for postering for an antiwar march, it will be to the detriment of the antiwar movement everywhere. Protest this outrage!

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