- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 16, 2007


City threatens fine for march posters

The District has told an antiwar group that it will be fined $10,000 if it does not remove posters announcing a march next month against U.S. involvement in Iraq, a spokeswoman for the antiwar group said yesterday.

“The ANSWER Coalition has received citations from the authorities in Washington threatening to fine us $10,000 unless several hundred posters announcing the September 15 march on Washington, D.C., are removed,” Sarah Sloan, the staff coordinator for the group, told Agence France-Presse. “We have until Thursday to take down the posters.”

Several hundred yellow posters have been put up across the city announcing the protest, which is timed to coincide with the release of a report by the U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, on progress in the U.S. “surge” strategy of raising troop levels.

D.C. officials said the posters have to come down because they were hung with adhesive that did not meet city regulations.

“The charge about adhesives is false,” Miss Sloan said.

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

Demonstrators from at least 90 cities in the U.S. and Canada have pledged to come to Washington for the march, which will be part of a week of antiwar protests led by veterans of the Iraq war, Miss Sloan said.

A petition calling for the impeachment of President Bush, said to have 1 million signatures and endorsed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, will be submitted to officials during the week’s activities.

Man indicted for making threats

An Arlington man has been indicted on charges that he left threatening messages at an Arab political organization in the U.S. during fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in the Middle East.

Federal prosecutors said Patrick Syring left phone and e-mail messages last summer with the Arab American Institute saying, “The only good Lebanese is a dead Lebanese. The only good Arab is a dead Arab.”

At the time, Israel was bombing targets in Lebanon while Hezbollah was firing rockets into northern Israel. James Zogby, the founder of the Arab American Institute, criticized the U.S. for not doing enough to protect U.S. citizens visiting family members in Lebanon.

Prosecutors say that in expletive-laced messages, Mr. Syring accused Mr. Zogby of being anti-Semitic. He identified himself in one phone message and sent e-mails from his personal account, prosecutors said.

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