Saturday, September 6, 2003

Annoy.Com September 11 Image Draws Criticism/Threats



Jason Wilson, 415-552-7655 ext 13


Piece Is Not Designed To Denigrate The Memory Of Those Who Died

SAN FRANCISCO -- September 6, 2003 – was prompted to release a statement today, after the publication of a feature commemorating September 11 resulted in a barrage of criticism and threats.

Titled, Phoenix Rising, and created by proprietor and artist, Clinton Fein, the image depicts a New York City landscape using a swastika designed to evoke the World Trade Center where the twin towers once stood. Standing in the foreground is a gas-masked Statue of Liberty, her hand held up in a traditional Nazi salute. Accompanying the image is a reworking of the poem by T.S.Eliot, The Journey of the Magi.

Within hours of the feature being published on on September 5, 2003, received threats of physical harm in addition to strong reactions condemning the publication and advocating violence on numerous web logs (blogs) and web sites.

“The piece is designed to focus attention on the rise of fascism and loss of civil liberties in the wake of September 11,” said Clinton Fein. “The piece is not designed to denigrate the memory of those who died or undermine the hideousness of what happened that morning. That is what commoditization and politicization -- the little twin tower key-chains, empty promises and political conventions -- are for.”

The full statement can be found on the site at: has been involved in public controversies in the past, and has been a strong First Amendment advocate, having fought censorship before the Supreme Court in ApolloMedia v. Reno, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in United States v. ApolloMedia.

Publicly launched in 1997, is devoted to free speech and the free exchange of ideas. allows visitors to participate in online discussions on topics of social and political interest such as gun control, abortion, health care, the military, the environment, censorship and privacy. Generally, ApolloMedia does not mediate, censor or filter these discussions in any way. The Web site also allows visitors to send anonymous or pseudonymous electronic postcards, related to the discussion topics, to public figures or to persons of the sender's choice.

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