ANSWER Coalition Makes Like Tom Petty

D.C. and Park Service officials are protesting signs, such as this one put up by Eugene Puryear, advertising ANSWER's Sept. 15 anti-war march.

This story has been generating lots of heat, and the controversy continues.

Antiwar Group Refuses To Back Down on Signs – washingtonpost.com

The D.C. Department of Public Works accused the ANSWER Coalition of breaking city rules by putting signs on utility boxes and using a glue that the agency said will make the posters difficult to remove. The Park Service said the signs are defacing federal property.

Coalition members said the adhesive won’t create problems and accused the government of a “politically motivated” bid to silence their efforts against the war in Iraq.

The city and Park Service notified the coalition Monday that it must remove the signs. The city gave ANSWER a 72-hour deadline and warned the group that it faces nearly $10,000 in fines — $150 for each of the 65 posters. The Park Service set no deadline but told the group that it would have to pay for the cleanup if it did not comply….

D.C. officials said they identified other problems with the posters, such as more than three signs put up on one side of a single block, signs that did not state the date they were posted, and signs stuck on utility boxes. In addition, D.C. officials said, no one filed copies of the posters with the mayor’s office as required, along with the name, address and phone number of the creator of the signs.

ANSWER organizers said they use legal, water-soluble paste to hang the signs and provide all sign-hangers with a copy of D.C. regulations. They argue that no one should have to notify the government of his or her political opinions.

“We don’t consider these fines to have any legal basis,” said Sarah Sloan, ANSWER’s national staff coordinator. “So there is no need to remove the signs or pay the fines.”

The group plans to appeal if fines are imposed and is considering legal action against the city, Sloan said.

From YouTube, a report from Washington’s ABC affiliate (posted by ANSWER):

One question the video leaves: DPW admits to being lax in enforcing the regulations with the scads of allegedly illegal signs that provide seeminlg permanent wallpaper for the nation’s capital. That sounds believable — if you’ve been to DC, you’ve seen signs all over town. But one must wonder why this rush to enforce is happening now and why is the anti-war coalition apparently its only target?

A final piece on the matter comes from New York Pacifica station WBAI, which interviewed ANSWER’s Sarah Sloan (who was also featured in the Channel 7 story): GDPR will air the interview during GDread Sunrise’s 10AM Eastern hour, directly following today’s installment of The UpBeet Gardener with Marion Owen.

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