Police break up anti-war press conference in Washington
Mounted police broke up an outdoor press conference and anti-war demonstration in Washington on Thursday. The event was arranged by ANSWER to protest the Iraqi war.
Tension increases in the US as numerous attacks on free speech frighten people, combined with the ever shrinking personal privacy and civil liberties.
Published: 07.09 - 2007 22:00
Peaceful press conference disruptedAFP through Raw Story: Mounted police charged in to break up an outdoor press conference and demonstration against the Iraq war in Washington on Thursday, arresting three people, organizers and an AFP reporter said.
"The police suppressed the press conference. In the middle of the speeches, they grabbed the podium" erected in a park in front of the White House for the small gathering, Brian Becker, national organizer of the ANSWER anti-war coalition, told AFP.
Last month, the movement was threatened with a fine of at least 10,000 dollars unless it removed posters in the city announcing the September 15 march. Washington city authorities have said the posters had to come down because they were stuck on with adhesive that did not meet city regulations.
"At our demonstration today we were showing the media that the paste we use conforms to the rules," Becker said.
"One of our activists was making a speech when the police barged in and grabbed the podium. At that point, Tina Richards started to put up a poster, so they arrested her and two others." "This strategy of suppression has not worked. We expect many tens of thousands of people" in Washington for the September 15 anti-war demonstration, he said. The march has been timed to coincide with the release of a report by the US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and will be part of a week of protests led by veterans of the Iraq war. 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, ANSWER has told AFP.
It is a difficult daily life for ordinary Americans these days; already under strict surveillance by the Bush government through wiretapping programs and restriction of free speech like in this incident, they now face -- on the six year anniversary of the supposed terror attacks -- the very man thought to be the perpetrator mocking them by addressing the nation, still free at large.
Trust in the government is plummeting in the wake of harsh rethoric against Iran from mr. Bush, now lone leader of a fast shrinking 'Coalition of the Willing' after Britain's troop withdrawal.
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Large number of US citizens demonstrated against the war in Iraq (and the possible war in Iran) during this October weekend. Massive turnout in Boston and San Fransisco, and also in Chicago, LA and DC people took to the streets. The message was: NO more war in Iraq! NO to a war with Iran!