Police suppress Sept. 15 anti-war press conference across from White House
Three anti-war activists were arrested in front of the White House today after the U.S. Park Police moved to suppress a press conference called to protest the fines and threats against the ANSWER Coalition for putting up anti-war posters promoting the September 15 March and Die-In in Washington DC.
The arrested were Tina Richards, CEO of Grassroots America and mother of Iraq War Veteran Cloy Richards; Adam Kokesh, the Co-Chair Elect of the Iraq Veterans Against the War and member of Veterans for Peace; and Ian Thompson, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition.
The press conference became a chaotic scene as U.S. Park Police interrupted the event on the basis that there was no permit for a folding table that was used as a speaker’s stand for media microphones. As U.S. Park Police officers surrounded the group, an officer on horseback rode into the crowd to disperse the media and onlookers.
Tina Richards and Adam Kokesh had announced that they would put a September 15 March to Stop the War poster on a lamppost following the press conference. The ANSWER Coalition has been fined over $30,000 in the last three weeks in an unprecedented action aimed at suppressing the September 15 mobilization. The three were taken to the Central District Substation of the United States Park Police. They will later be transferred to a jail in which they will spend the night before being arraigned in U.S. Superior Court tomorrow afternoon.
Attorneys at the Partnership for Civil Justice have filed a Free Speech lawsuit to strike down the unconstitutional postering law. The ANSWER Coalition has refused to pay these illegal fines.
Momentum continues to build for the September 15 Mass March, which will be led by Iraq War Veterans and their family members. More than 100 cities are mobilizing to bring people by bus, van and car caravan. The September 15 March will culminate with a large scale Die-In/Funeral for U.S. servicemembers and Iraqis who have been killed in this criminal war of aggression.
For details, go to www.Sept15.org.