WASHINGTON (CNN) – The District of Columbia has threatened to levy a $10,000 fine against an anti-war group for plastering signs around the city but organizers argue the yellow and black posters conform to city regulations and the fines are politically motivated.
The posters promote a march planned by Answer Coalition - Act Now to Stop War and End Racism - for Sept. 15th to coincide with the release of Lt. Gen. David Patraeus' Iraq status report to President Bush.
The group is coming up against some sticky disapproval from city officials who say the signs use an illegal adhesive and are plastered in illegal areas.
"This is not an issue of content," said Linda Grant, D.C. Public Works public information officer. "This is about trying to reach a balance of allowing people to use the lampposts versus keeping the city neat." She say the problem isn't the signs, but its the stress required to remove the signs.
But the group hanging the posters said they used water soluble paste to put the posters on lamp posts, polls and traffic boxes.
"The District of Columbia municipal regulations allow for signs to be affixed to lampposts and affixed with an adhesive as long as it doesn't do damage," said Sarah Sloan of ANSWER. "We think it's politically motivated."
A DPW employee first noticed the sign over two weeks ago when the first tickets were written, Grant said.
Sloan said they received 64 tickets on Monday, and one ticket on Tuesday for a total of $10,000 dollars in fines.
The 72-hour period for removing the yellow and black signs has expired, but ANSWER said it has no intention of removing the signs.
"We have not removed signs," Sloan said. "They are posted in compliance and we've been in compliance for the six years we've been putting up signs."
- CNN contributor Ebonne Ruffins