ANSWER Coalition Answers Back

The war of words between the anti-war ANSWER Coalition and  Washington, DC, government officials continues. Days after the city slapped the grassroots group with $10,000 in fines for allegedly violating postering laws, ANSWER says it plans to file suit against the District of Columbia.

From the coalition’s press release:

ANSWER COALITION TO FILE FREE SPEECH
LAWSUIT AGAINST DC GOVERNMENT

PRESS CONFERENCE
Announcing Lawsuit Against Postering Laws

MONDAY, AUGUST 20
at 1:00 pm
Law Office of the Partnership for Civil Justice
2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Ste 320
Washington DC

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo, attorneys and co-founders of the Partnership for Civil Justice, and representatives from the ANSWER Coalition will be discussing the unprecedented $10,000 fines imposed on the ANSWER Coalition for its posters promoting the September 15 Mass March which will be led by Iraq war veterans and timed to coincide with the report of General Petraeus to Congress.

The ANSWER Coalition will not pay one penny to the government for our First Amendment rights or to stave off their threats against us.

The Partnership for Civil Justice is bringing a legal challenge to the District of Columbia’s postering restrictions that unconstitutionally favor election-related political speech while discriminating against grassroots activism condemning the war in Iraq.

We’ll keep you posted on developments.

Advertisements

0 responses to “ANSWER Coalition Answers Back

  1. Michael Pugliese

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: LINDA GRANT

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007 (202) 671-2375/desk

    (202) 497-1080/cell

    Linda.grant@dc.gov

    DPW STATEMENT REGARDING FINES LEVIED FOR IMPROPERLY POSTED ANTI-WAR POSTERS

    *

    DC regulations (DCMR Title 24, Section 108) provide guidelines
    for posting signs in public space. The regulations balance free speech
    with keeping the city neat by: 1. supporting the right to free speech
    by giving people access to public space to express themselves; and 2.
    Keeping the public space from appearing cluttered by limiting the
    number of signs per block. The District hosts marches and protests all
    the time and we never weigh in on the merits of the issues, rather our
    role is to keep the city neat.

    *

    DPW asks people to respect District of Columbia residents by
    following the guidelines.

    *

    These posters were improperly placed for the following reasons:

    o

    More than three signs were posted on one side of a block,
    the guidelines limit the number to three. (108.10)
    o

    The posters were placed on more than lampposts, which is
    the only place where they are allowed. (100, which says if the site is
    not mentioned, posters cannot be placed there.)
    o

    The posters were fixed to lampposts and utility boxes
    using an adhesive, which is not allowed. The larger posters are taking
    20 to 30 minutes to remove. (108.9)
    o

    The posters do not provide the date they were placed. (108.7)
    o

    No one filed two copies of the materials with the Mayor’s
    DC government designee (Office of Surface Permits). The filing should
    be made within 24 hours of posting each sign and include the name,
    address, and telephone number of the posters’ originator. (108.11)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Stop Government Attacks Against the Anti-War Movement!

    Take Action to Defend Free Speech