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2003-02-11

Peace Groups Resort to Buying TV and Newspaper Ads to Get Their Message Out: Cable Giant Comcast Charged with Censorship for Rejecting Anti-War Commercial

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Today we’ve heard about how a federal judge has denied a march permit to New York City peace activists for February 15th. We’ve heard about how over 70 city councils across the country have passed anti-war resolutions. And about a direct action protest this morning in New York City, where activists locked down in front of the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

Well right now we turn to another form of dissent.

A new protest tactic has emerged in the last months. Peace, civil liberties, and economic justice groups, have begun taking out full-page ads in national newspapers like 'The New York Times.' Just today, the Economic Policy Institute took out a full-page ad headlined: 'Ten Nobel Laureates Say the Bush Tax Cuts are the Wrong Approach.'

Other ads have included:

*Not in Our Name has taken out full page ads in 'The New York Times' and the international edition of 'USA Today,' publishing the Statement of Conscience and its signers.

* Tom Paine has published a famous add with a picture of Osama Bin Laden pointing at the reader in Uncle Sam style. The caption reads: "Uncle oSAMa Says:I Want YOU To Invade Iraq. "Go ahead. Send me a new generation of recruits. Make my day."

But there are other ads you likely haven’t seen.

On the night of President Bush’s State of the Union, the Princeton-based AntiWar Video Fund attempted to air a 30-second spot in the Washington, D.C. area. But cable giant Comcast rejected the ad because it claimed some of the claims in the commercial were unsubstantiated.

On its website, the AntiWar Video Fund’s web site claimed that Comcast had pinpointed two specific comments as troublesome — that going to war would be "a violation of international law" and that such a war would be run by a "self-appointed group of mercenaries."

Other groups are using a different tactic to get their message out ­ direct action. This morning a group of peace activists chained themselves together to block traffic entering the Holland Tunnel on the New York side.

Tape:

  • MoveOn.org commercial
  • Win Without War commercial

Guests:

  • Pat Pattillo, associate general secretary and director of communication of the National Council of Churches.
  • Jenny Crumiller, organizer with the Anti-War Video Fund.
  • Brian Sloman, media buyer Spectrum Marketing.
  • Kate Crain, spokesperson for activists who blocked traffic in the Holland Tunnel this morning.

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