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Antiwar activists fined over D.C. protest

WASHINGTON -- Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an Army specialist killed in Iraq, and 26 other antiwar activists were found guilty yesterday of protesting without a permit near the White House.

They were each ordered to pay $75 in fines and court costs, but Sheehan's lawyer said he plans to appeal the verdict.

The defendants contended that they were trying to deliver petitions on Sept. 26 to the White House calling for an end to the war in Iraq.

Sheehan, 48, of Berkeley, Calif., has tried repeatedly to have a private meeting with President Bush since her 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq last year. She spent several weeks this summer near the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and plans to return there next week.

The defendants were among 300 people arrested by US Park Police after they spent more than an hour on the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk north of the White House. While some sat on the sidewalk, others chanted and sang songs. They were taken into custody after refusing to leave.

A federal regulation prohibits demonstrations without a required permit outside the White House by groups larger than 25 people.

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