US anti-war group ordered to take down Iraq demo posters

Published: Wednesday August 15, 2007

A US anti-war group has been warned it will be fined 10,000 dollars if it does not remove posters in Washington announcing a march in the capital next month against US involvement in Iraq, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"The ANSWER Coalition has received citations from the authorities in Washington threatening to fine us 10,000 dollars unless several hundred posters announcing the September 15 march on Washington DC are removed," Sarah Sloan, the staff coordinator for the anti-war group, told AFP.

"We have until Thursday to take down the posters," she said.

Several hundred yellow posters have been put up around Washington announcing the protest, which is timed to coincide with the release of a report by the US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, on progress in the US "surge" strategy of raising troop levels.

Washington city authorities said the posters have to come down because they were stuck on with adhesive that did not meet city regulations.

"The charge about adhesives is false," Sloan said.

"This is a definitely a calculated political move aimed at disrupting the demonstration, which has been organised on a day when the world's eyes will be on Washington for the Petraeus report," she said.

Demonstrators from at least 90 cities around the United States and Canada have already pledged to come to Washington for the march, which will be part of a week of anti-war protests led by veterans of the Iraq war, according to Sloan.

A petition calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush, allegedly carrying one million signatures and endorsed by former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, will also be submitted to officials during the week's activities.