Question 9-11: A Call to Activism
Event Review by Carol Brouillet
February 23, 2006
Thursday night, February 23, 2006 at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, hundreds of people converged for an amazing event spearheaded by Janette MacKinlay, a survivor of the September 11th attacks. The event began a bit late, to allow those in line to get into the theater and not miss anything.
The first film was a ten minute clip from a two hour lecture by Steven E. Jones, of B.Y.U. who compellingly shattered the official story of how the twin towers and the World Trade Center Building #7 collapsed.
Janette then welcomed the audience and shared her story,
“I wish I could tell you that you will be able to walk out of here this evening, knowing what really happened on September 11th. I wish there were easy answers, but there aren’t.
“I wish the subject matter wasn’t so disturbing, and then we all would be able to be objective. But the unfortunate reality is that it is complex and time consuming and requires that you examine multiple issues.
“I’ve been coming to grips with these issues since 8:45 am September 11 when Flight 11 hit Tower One directly out the window of my New York art loft located across the street from the World Trade Center. It has been a journey of art and activism.”
She showed photos of the art inspired by her direct experience, including that of a mounted gun with Bin Laden in the sites.
“I wanted to save my country! I wanted to fight back! I wanted to join the ARMY! Saying that now, it seems funny and odd, but at the time I was dead serious. I was shocked at how violent and militant I had become!
“This event stirred deep feelings of patriotism, not just in me, but also in the whole country.”
“I was compelled to write my story in a book called, ‘Fortunate, A Personal Diary of 9/11′ I wanted to write it all down, because I thought I would forget what had happened. Little did I know it would be with me every moment of my life.
“I suffered Post Traumatic Stress, and to a lesser degree, I believe anyone who watched the ‘shock and awe’ of airliners flying into buildings and buildings disappearing into dust before their eyes suffered post traumatic stress.
“I believe that is one of the main reasons it has taken so long for the general population to examine these issues. It has taken years for people to come out of their state of shock and publicly examine and speak out regarding the discrepancies in the official story.
But I can see we as a country are now ready to hear the truth.
“I see 9/11 as a ‘wake-up’ call. A call to wake up and look at what is happening with our foreign policy. … As I recovered, I joined the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and began attending their various political discussions.
“In the summer of 2004 they sponsored an event for the release of the 9/11 Commission Report featuring two of the commissioners. Their presentation was quite unsettling in that they emphasized that their job was not to point fingers, rather to prevent future attacks. The answers to the audience questions were hidden behind a brick wall of classified documents, White House mandates, and national security concerns.
“My anger at the obvious cover-up prompted me to speak with Carol Brouillet, who was outside the event with other activists from the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance passing out information that offered possible answers to the questions that haunted me.”
Janette slowly began to get involved with the 9-11 Truth Movement, and on a visit to New York and her old building, she again leased her old loft and now lives on both coasts. She showed us more recent views from her apartment of the latest drills at Ground Zero.
“In case you were wondering where all those homeland security dollars are being spent I understand New York City spends $5 million per week in their ‘ “Operation Atlas’ and ‘Hercules Teams.’ The military presence has now been replaced by a police presence. I call it the ‘Police Parade,’ with perhaps a hundred police cars lining the four-block parameter of the World Trade Center site. After the ‘Park on the Sidewalk’ drill is over, they peel off one by one, lights on, sometimes with the sirens on. This procedure is repeated throughout the day and in other parts of New York as well, such as Time Square.
“This is what they call a ‘terrorist drill.’ I call it a ‘Terrorize US’ drill.
“On Saturday, Sept. 10 last year, when there were thousands of people at the site, they decided to have a ‘Bomb Threat’ drill, which involved shutting down and clearing the entire neighborhood, screaming on loud megaphones to clear the area immediately. The area was then patrolled with a bomb-sniffing robot.
“I am in Oakland for the winter, and felt compelled to ‘do something’ to help educate people about the 9/11 issues that need to be brought into discussion in the mainstream media as well as with our Senators and Congresspeople.
“I am very grateful to Allen Michaan for allowing me this opportunity to present my ‘Call To Activism’ event.
“I have assembled a “Question 9/11 folder,” which has contact information for our Senators, our Congresspeople, the local and national media, including newspaper, television, and radio. I have included sample letters.
“My hope is that after this evening you will be inspired to ‘do something,’ and do it now! Do it tomorrow, and each and every day, to let our voices be heard.”
Janette’s presentation was an inspiration, and every activist kit she assembled was picked up during the course of the evening.
The film which followed, “9/11: Attack or Godsend?,” was an English dub of a Dutch documentary which had appeared on mainstream television in the Netherlands. Andreas Von Bulow and Michael Meacher were featured in it, and they seriously doubted the official story of 9-11. Outside of the United States, the credibility of the U.S. government has declined substantially.
Ken Jenkins, who edited the main films spoke briefly about them and presented an activist kit that he had designed which included a button, information cards and five DVDs of one of David Ray Griffin’s best presentations, before the Congressional Black Caucus last September. DVDs are an inexpensive, easy, educational tool that allows anyone to overcome the barriers of the corporate media monopoly. Ken was a perfect example of how we must become the media. His documentaries have been distributed nationwide via 911TV, to community access television stations across the country, and shown on Free Speech TV, as well.
The feature film was of David Ray Griffin, on “Flights 11, 175, 77 and 93: The 9/11 Commission’s Incredible Tales” which meticulously broke down the three different timelines the government has presented, illustrating what a huge lie the official Commission has tried to pass off in its dubious report.
Janette then introduced Gabriel Day, National Outreach and Networking Director of 9-11Truth.org, who has been traveling all over the country helping to network activists, and who organized the Emergency Truth Convergence in DC last July. Gabriel is also organizing the upcoming national conference June 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in Chicago, and urged folks to come. Gabriel noted that,
“Albert Einstein said – ‘In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.’”
“I particularly try to encourage people to see the huge upside for all of us if we were living in a post-9/11 truth world. Billions of tax dollars would be redirected from our misguided foreign policies to meet real human needs and maybe then we could say we actually have a legitimate government.
“The potency of this issue is astounding. When this breaks it should be Watergate times 1,000. The 9/11 truth movement holds tremendous power to transform our world. St. Francis of Assisi said – ‘A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows…’
“We all should be both Paul Reveres and Johnny Appleseeds – sounding the alarm and planting seeds of understanding. We can all learn to Be the Media – and to make the independent media movement our closest ally.
“In your outreach please be considerate of the deep dark rabbit hole you are taking people down and balance it with the positive energy of the upside of this issue. I see too many new activists trying to beat people over the head with 9/11 truth. And be careful not to feel overwhelmed by the technical aspects of much of the research and the diversity of opinion within the 9-11 truth movement. The people involved are nearly all working in the same direction but sometimes their passions and fears get the best of them.
“I urge all of you to start with yourselves. Study this issue and master some key talking points. Then follow Gandhi’s urging for each one to teach one. Reach out to those who are willing to hear. Be able to give recommendations for the best resources in literature, websites, DVDS and books. Employ all the technologies still available to us. Do the doable — starting locally and with small actions.
“And most importantly — have faith — it is often darkest before the dawn. Please reflect on the tremendous positive change that is possible for America and our world through the outcome of our efforts.
“A 19th century statement of the Native American theory of existence by Morning Dove was:
“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission.
“All of us tonight are on an important mission and I believe our efforts will add up to a great achievement in the foreseeable future, and I look forward to having shared this journey with you.”
Then it was my turn to speak, echoing Gabriel, my short speech was entitled-
A Time for Courage-
“The official 9-11 story is a lie, a hoax, used mercilessly to launch wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, with Syria and Iran looming on the horizon. The attacks on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, dissent and democracy throughout the world were designed to terrify people into silence, submission, to go along with ‘the authorities.’ The most horrendous lie was that individually we are helpless, there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop this war, that war, any war, all war, the increasing power of corporations and governments seeking to control all the world’s resources and all of us.
“Throughout history, tyrants arise and fall. People have had to struggle for liberation, justice, and the right to live.
“Cheney, like Napoleon, believes that ‘Truth does not have to be suppressed, simply delayed until it doesn’t matter anymore.’ Bush has said, ‘You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.’
“Without the smoke and mirrors of the mainstream corporate press, the lies cannot be maintained, and they are wearing thin. Euphemisms for lying are increasingly transparent. It looks like the ‘jig is almost up.’ The threat of repression, another terrorist attack, another war continually ramp up whenever the credibility, popularity, control of the White House erodes.
“Fear is the weapon of choice of the Bush Administration, and their Achilles Heel, when people find the courage to stand up to them and challenge them on any and all of the lies.
“Allen Michaan, our wonderful patron who has given this space and his marquee to the cause of truth, Janette MacKinlay who organized this event have both shown true leadership, by standing up, and speaking out. Gypsy, too, has been, and is, organizing the 9-11 Film Festival — every Wednesday, at 7:00 pm 9-11 films are showing at the Humanist Hall in Oakland, and she, also, showed great courage by blowing the whistle on the 9-11 Commissioners when they were in San Francisco.
“It has taken years of effort, and innumerable individual and collective acts of courage, to shred one by one the lies, the deceptions, the pattern. Each person who has come forward, each person who has held a sign, each person who has refused to be silenced, each drop in the ocean of humanity has helped to turn the tide. We are not alone, we are not isolated, we are connected, deeply, more closely than ever before, when there are so many of us seeking truth, peace, justice, and just a very few people trying desperately to cling to power and control, dependent on lies and fear.
“If you are like me, there is nothing scarier than speaking in front of a huge audience (except maybe singing to them) and baring your soul publicly, but at times, we have to overcome our fears to realize our hopes, and our dreams. I have dreamed of redirecting humanity’s resources away from the military and towards healing and nurturing life and relationships. In order to do so, one has to do a few other things, such as changing most people’s belief systems, the monetary system, the global economy… It isn’t a one week, one month project, and probably requires a few lifetimes of effort.
“The truth about 9-11, however, does challenge people’s belief systems, threatens the global economy, which currently is a war economy, and the monetary system, since the dollar has been dependent on cheap oil and U.S. control over it. My dreams are now needed solutions to real problems.
“Our world has been in crisis/turmoil since 9-11, desperate for genuine leadership. Bush and Cheney have shown us the sort of leadership that mobsters use when they break a few windows and shakedown the storekeeper to hire them to protect themselves against vandals. We need to show the kind of leadership that exposes the ‘fake protection racket’ and frees all of us from ‘extortion, fear and the threat of more violence.’
“David Griffin has given us a wonderful gift in his patient, rational, expose of the ‘signatures of a special operation” — ‘the failure of standard operating procedures,’ in the case of 9-11– the military’s failure to scramble planes, the destruction of evidence, the cover stories, the multiple timelines.
“There are five very simple leadership rules that all of us should, take to heart, become part of our daily lives, to help in the positive transformation of this world. The first is to-
“‘Challenge the system.’ Expose the lie, the hypocrisy, the truth, the true nature of the beast.
“Second — ‘Inspire a Vision.’ Imagine a world without war, without terrorism, without tyrants. Imagine all the great and wonderful things we could do through cooperation, with other people, with nature.
“Third — ‘Model the Way.’ We need to be the change that we would like to see, emulate all the qualities that we would like to see more in the world, and in one another. Do the jobs that need to be done, even when they seems scary.
“Fourth — ‘Enable Others to Act.’ Many people want to do something, but they might be missing a tool, a bit of information, some resources, support, suggestions, an opportunity to help or to speak. Sometimes just bringing people together to meet one another allows all sorts of synergies and projects to be born.
“Fifth — ‘Encourage the Heart.’ (1) Lives have been saved by timely words, encouragement, kindness. We each have more power than we consciously acknowledge; showing appreciation, recognition, joy, delight can energize, and strengthen people’s spirits and have a powerful ripple effect on others, too.
“We do not need one great leader; we need a leaderful movement, a courageous multitude of voices that will not shut up, back down, cower in fear, that will demand truth, accountability and dismantle the current violent illegitimate regime while we build the most powerful, cooperative, life nurturing, respectful, fun, imaginative, synergistic system to replace it.”
[(1)- The Five Leadership Principles come from an excellent book- The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, the textbook I had when I took a yearlong course from Leadership Mid-Peninsula.]
Our final speaker was David Kubiak, International Campaign Advisor of 911Truth.org. David incorrectly assumed that the audience was the choir, seasoned 9-11 activists, not realizing how many had never been exposed to the topic before. He addressed some of the internal movement challenges that we faced, and 9-11 in the context of the world situation. David ran for Maine State Senate in the last election cycle as a 9-11 Truth Candidate and garnered 12 percent of the vote in the district of Kennebunkport. He was optimistic about the rising consciousness and groundswell against the Bush Regime in this election cycle. He made a gentle pitch for funds to help Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance buy a better DVD burner, and for the conference, and for his dream of innumerable caravans of 9-11 Truth activists to converge on DC on September 11th of 2006, in a style reminiscent of the Populist Uprising that took place a hundred years ago and brought us so many vital reforms.
David was eloquent, but by the time he drew to a close, the evening was getting quite late. I canned my half of the pitch, forgot to mention that people could write checks, as we passed the hats. Allen made a brief announcement over the California Secretary of State’s outrageous illegal move to certify the dubious Diebold voting machines, urging people to take action. Janette concluded the evening and urged everyone to go to the lobby for refreshments and socializing which lasted nearly til midnight.
All in all the event was a great, exciting, success, thanks to the efforts and participation and vision of some wonderful people, especially Janette MacKinlay, who did the brunt of the work and made it happen.