My ANSWER to Protest Signs: Removal

The ANSWER protest sign drama continues as the anti-war group hides behind the First Amendment in its defacement of Washington DC public property.

Yesterday the Department of Public Works fined the ANSWER coalition $10,000 for posting hundreds of signs to promote a peace march September 15 that were illegally affixed to utility boxes, using glue that was too sticky, exceeded the number of signs allowed per block, and not registering copies with the DPW.

Today ANSWER responded that it would counter-sue, claiming that the DC government fined them in a “politically motivated” bid to silence their efforts against the war in Iraq.

Let me be one of the many to call “bullshit” on ANSWER coalition position. Slapping up ugly-ass posters on every inanimate object in the city, violating very clear anti-graffiti rules that every other protest organization follows, is not Free Speech. Nor would the content be what pisses off the citizens of Washington.

ANSWER forgets that DC is majority Democrat and in general does not condone the idiot in the White House, and is very much against the war in Iraq. More importantly, they forget that they are guests in DC, and defacing our city isn’t the way to treat guests hosts.

So I’d like to send ANSWER a message. I’d like you to join me in removing ANSWER signs and sending the detritus to ANSWER’s HQ at 1247 E St. SE, Washington, DC 20003. Better yet, give them an earful while you do it on (202) 544-3389.

7 Comments so far

  1. Ben (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

    I don’t get your logic here: “More importantly, they forget that they are guests in DC, and defacing our city isn’t the way to treat guests.”

    You imply that they (ANSWER) are ‘guests’ and that they should not treat ‘guests’ poorly. Are you trying to say that they don’t treat themselves poorly? I just don’t get your point. Maybe you mean to say that this behavior is no way to act as a guest.


  2. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    Ben – I think you nailed it. Wayan used the wrong word here. I skimmed right over it. Good catch.

    Yeah, I have seen these signs for a while and wondered how they got away with defacing property like that.

    My form of expressing my First Amendment rights is punching a guy in the face and stealing his money. Is my right to free speech violated when the government chooses to silence me by making me a political prisoner?

    What a bunch of jerks – defacing private and public property and then claiming they have the right to do it.


  3. Michael Pugliese (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

    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


  4. danny (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

    I believe the correct term to use for that sentence would be ‘host’. i.e.

    “More importantly, they forget that they are guests in DC, and defacing our city isn’t the way to treat A HOST.”


  5. Wayan (unregistered) on August 19th, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

    Now that its “host” might we get back to the point: ANSWER is in the wrong here and we need to prove the point with our oun muckraking


  6. Brian (unregistered) on August 20th, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    Semantics aside, there were rules to be followed and they didn’t. Simple as that. When a system is in place to allow your advertisement of free expression and you go outside that system because you feel like it, you have to ANSWER for it, so to speak.


  7. Wayan (unregistered) on August 20th, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    Thinking about this more, maybe ANSWER is over-papering cities on purpose. The press related to their acts is priceless and raises awareness of their protest much more than the actual posters do.

    A devious and yet very successful practice, which makes me dislike them even more.



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