Taking to the streets on 9/11
On the morning of 9/11, I couldn’t watch the reading of names on NY1.Not five years in a row. I clicked off the ritual of bereaved families, somber politicos and media scripters and went to work on the computer. Before I knew it, it was 1 o’clock. Something gnawed. I needed to go down to Ground Zero, at least to pay my respects to the gone. Yet what I found was very alive. Thousands of 9/11 Truth Movement members shouting,, "9/11 was an inside job, 9/11 was an inside job.” This interspersed with the raspy voice of Alex Jones booming the facts of the Towers’ demise on a bullhorn. But this was no bull. This was a whole new ballgame.
There were cordons of cops in black and blue, white shirt officers, the brass, the suits, the shooters with burp guns and helmets, tactical cops in caps. There were police cars, SUVs, double-decker tourist buses crawling down Church Street, beeping traffic streaming up it, both sides lined with protestors in front of the PATH train entrance, the entrance to the hole, Ground Zero, visitors gawking, some raising fists, with or against us.
But above all the chant went on: “9/11 was an inside job, 9/11 was an inside job.” I slipped inside the passionate crowd of protestors whose black t-shirts were lettered in white: “Investigate 9/11.” Suddenly, that warm September sun, that cloudless sky, that 9/11 day, felt good again. We were alive and kicking.
Some passersby looked dumfounded that such a thought could be spoken: “9/11 was an inside job.” Others smiled, like someone finally got up the guts to say it out loud. Some screamed back, “Don’t help the terrorists.” One provocateur tried to start a fight. He was shooed away. The two sides of the street echoed the chant.
And to the north, silver green, glassy, shining, the new Tower 7, lucky Larry’s baby, looked down, ominously alone if not mostly empty, reminding us it never was hit by a plane, but somehow “was pulled,” and somehow was the first and only Tower to be rebuilt. After all, Larry owned it, not just leased it like the other buildings, and managed to make upwards of $500 million on its rebuilding. It is now the headquarters of Silverstein Properties.
Larry’s exact words were . . ."I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire and I said, 'We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull, and we watched the building collapse.” Ah, “someone said to pull it.”
Someone asked, “Is that Tower 7?” I said, “Yes. And that’s Vesey Street. South of it used to be Tower 6, the Customs House building; behind it the North Tower, behind that the South Tower." I spoke in the faint lulls in the chants and Alex’s voice. Two young guys asked me more questions. I was happy to answer. Others chimed in. We had a chat room before you knew it. Everyone had info, nothing had gone unnoticed.
Democracy was still alive if seriously wounded in America. And this was what I was yearning to hear and see, the public voice raised to max volume. The tiers of police were hearing it, too, as were firemen. One near us wore a faint smile that said in silence, “Jesus, they know about the cutter charges, the explosions, top and bottom.” Yes, we knew about it.
Facts and figures, bits of newspeak and irony passed back and fourth. After all, this was the crowd that had showed up at St Marks Church, starting Friday night at 7 pm to hear about “9/11 As Pretext For Afghanistan and Iraq Invasions.” To hear Alfons Olzsewski, 9/11 Vets For Truth, Korey Rowe, the producer of Loose Change 2, Elaine Brower, Member of World Can’t Wait, a son currently in Iraq. That was followed by a session on “9/11 As Pretext for the Current Middle East Aggression,” with the venerable Ralph Schoenman from WBAI’s Taking Aim.
This was the crowd, too, that came from near and far for the feast of information on Saturday at 3 pm: “9/11: Presenting the Evidence,” with Jim Marrs, Tom Foti, Barry Chamish Barb Honegger, Howie Hawkins, Sander Hicks. This was the crowd that came Sunday to pack the Great Hall of Cooper Union from 1 pm on. It came for the 9/11 Breakthrough Rally. I was lucky enough to attend with some friends.
The speakers were Professors Judy Wood, Steven Jones and Jim Fetzer. And there was Jesse Richard, Ralph Schoenman, Jim Marrs, Wayne Madsen, not to mention Kevin Barrett, Ian Wood, Faiz Kahn, Dr. Robert Bowman, Lynn Pentz, Car Person, Les Jamieson, and Fr. Frank Morales of St. Mark’s Church, all of whom have made important contributions to 9/11 Truth.
After the dinner break, Alex Jones delivered a progress report on activities and a sneak preview of the final cut of Loose Change, with new interviews and research. LC’s creators were there, Dylan Avery, Jason Berman, Korey Rowe, along with the 9/11 music artist Immortal Technique.
It was communion and confirmation with everything one had read and thought and/or written about. It was a transformation that made one feel there was still intelligent life on earth, that you weren’t a lone nut imagining all this. No wonder I had the blues Monday morning trying to watch the TV. In fact, I couldn’t go near it all weekend. A lot of Chinese food and my friends who’d attended helped Sunday night, everyone buzzing back and forth across the table, ideas flying about like the chicken and broccoli.
I was seeing people come alive. Come out of the stupor of 9/11 on this fifth anniversary. I was seeing transcendence over the phony movies, the CNN Situation Room, the Bush butt-kissing, the drone of talking heads, the glitzy computer graphics, stupid experts, wooden suits, the lot of them. What a pleasure to touch base with reality. Therefore, I was feeling the danger of the USAPATRIOT Act, the corruption of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. That this march could be taken away, that these people could be arrested and prosecuted at someone’s whim.
But what a pleasure to be on the street with this battalion of brave souls, shattering the silence, giving those souls in the air reason to live again. The purpose was to honor their horrific passing with the truth, to break through the lies, the same that had hung over us like the nuclear-pulverized clouds of the Towers. The concrete dust, radiation, and asbestos contamination had fallen in the lungs of first responders, of those fleeing from the buildings, of those helping others to live, many of them dying as we spoke against this ongoing apocalypse that had calcified the city and nation for so long.
Here we were, marching from Ground Zero across Maiden Lane east to Broadway. I thought of Dr. William Pepper, who had spoken on Sunday. He was the great human rights lawyer who had stayed with the Martin Luther King case for 25 years and finally won a civil suit for the King family against the CIA, Army Intelligence, FBI and Memphis Police. The jury, thanks to his hard work, had found them not James Earle Raye guilty for the assassination of King. In addition, they government had to award the King family the $1 financial remuneration it had asked for, for that priceless life that it and the world lost.
On Sunday, Pepper had said, “You’ve spoken the truth to power, you’ve provided the evidence, and it has not mattered to those in power. Now it’s time to go to Washington, notify them you’re coming, then come, build a camp in Washington, let thousands come, let celebrities come and protect you. And everyday, go to Congress, to the representatives, the senators, go to their meetings, bring up your issues, and show them your evidence. And don’t leave till you are heard and something is done.” Those words, as far-fetched as they might sound to some, echoed in my ears as the real deal.
Out here on Broadway, it seemed like we were taking a first step. I turned to the left and there was the bank of Brown Brothers Harriman, as bold as day. As the chants continued, I turned to a marcher and said, “That’s the bank Prescott Bush and his father-in-law George Herbert Walker used to finance the Nazis.” And the marcher turned back and said, “Right, with the Union Bank and the Fritz Thyssen German Military Industrial Complex.” I said, “Roosevelt shut them down in 1942, seized their assets,” and the marcher said, “Under the Trading with the Enemy Act.” Right. There was no dumb stare, no dropped mouth. He knew. They knew. And those that didn’t, listened, heard.
And what amazed me was that Brown Brothers Harriman was still there, its white type face boldly set on a brown (as in brown shirt) background, sprung back like the ideology of the elites itself. And now Bush Jr. was co-opting the language of fascists and Nazis to apply to those who fought back against him and his morally bankrupt friends and worshippers. What irony.
But the march snaked on, blocks long, the signs bobbing, the voices rising over the traffic, the elaborate police escort, over the stares of the afternoon crowds, reaching the high windows of office buildings where faces peered, wondering what was going on. Democracy was going on, the right to assemble, the right to protest, the right to grab the country back from the criminal syndicate that swiped it.
We arrived at 120 Broadway, which had been home to that sordid political past dating back to 1917. Today it is one of Silverstein Properties, proclaimed by two silver plaques, one on each side of the guarded doorways. And the chant suddenly changed to “Pull It, Pull It, Pull It, Pull It,” echoing Silverstein’s order “to pull” his Tower 7 eight hours after the first two Towers fell. But how could “they pull it” without weeks of preparation? Setting up the 47 story building for its fall couldn’t be managed in a matter of hours.
Again some people stopped, without a clue. Others gave us the power fist. Tourists gawked, thinking what the hell was this (America, I thought) as others frowned, as if making a ruckus was bad form. Be nice. Don’t blow the gray ashes of 9/11 off the streets and the buildings, the headstones in the graveyard of Trinity Church. Don’t wake the dead to haunt those ‘getting on with their lives.’
Yes, that was what we were told. Giuliani said, “Go to a ballgame. Get on with your lives.” And let him scoop up the evidence, steal it away and smelt some of it in some distant nation; the mayor who had placed his Office of Emergency Management on the 23rd floor of Tower 7, supposedly a secure bunker next to the most desired target in the Western world. The mayor who knew the building was to be pulled and was out on the streets playing president by 9:15 am.
But now, in spite of all, life had returned to Broadway. And the buildings looked at us and the church and the ghosts in the air. And the word passed to move on, around the corner towards Elliott Spitzer’s offices, located on the upper floors of 120 Broadway. We called to him, raised our voices, to the would-be governor of New York, the same who’s had the 9/11 evidence since October 2004, presented by Justice for 9/11. It is the basis for a suit against the government on behalf of the people of New York, those murdered and injured on 9/11, including the victim’s families. But Spitzer never responded. Busy campaigning?
And as we stood there, the bankers buzzed by in their suits. As did the nervous traders and brokers from the nearby Stock Exchange, cordoned off with permanent and concrete police barriers. Here the cobblestone streets were narrow, old as the Republic, and now shadowed by the huge buildings of commerce, shuffling millions, billions, trillions of dollars electronically around the earth, to hell and back, with a couple of trillions each year for laundering, at least a half-billion from drug money, to keep the market bubble afloat. Then, like bad blood, it would be infused into the economy again. In fact, corporate America was addicted to drug money and money laundering.
A young man with a strong Irish accent turned to me, looked up and said, “My god, it’s like a giant graveyard. You can’t see the sky. No light seeps in. I can’t imagine working here. What must this do to people who work here?” I pointed to the granite columned façade of the Stock Exchange and said, “This is where the magic happens, my friend. This is where the money’s made and lost. Where America rises and falls. Where the rich get richer and the poorer get fired. It’s a maze. And right now we’re trapped in it.” “Well, it’s a maze of a graveyard,” he said. We agreed.
We wound through the narrow sidewalks and streets past tiny shops, delis, pizza stands, side by side with the huge buildings. The black and white battalion chanted, raised their signs. And people came out to look, to support and chastise. A few young hoods threw hard looks at us and got big smiles back. A few firemen outside a bar, maybe one too many thrown back, gave us hard looks as well. There was an exchange of words but all remained cool.
We came out of the graveyard maze at Park Row, skirting the park and City Hall, bunkered with police cars, the new normal, facing the parking lot of rush hour Brooklyn Bridge, oh harp and altar of the fury fused, with cop cars flashing red lights, creating that unsettling feeling of police state of mind New York.
We headed towards the court buildings, walked under a giant walkway arch connecting two buildings, in which the chant, “9/11 was an inside job” amplified exponentially, as if another thousand voices had been added. We exited into One Police Plaza, police headquarters, greeted by a new band of black and blue uniforms. Oh boy.
Alex Jones had been stopping all along the way to give brief press interviews, between belting out speeches, literally for hours. He spit out very fact you could think of concerning the explosions, the conspiracy of NORAD, the CIA, to fill the sky with planes for a dozen terror drills, to totally confuse the FAA and the air traffic controllers, the total breakdown of all reactive systems, of a half a trillion dollar a year intelligence machine intended to protect us. Now Jones was sitting on a brick bench surrounded by 9/11 Truthers and interviewers. He looked tired but undaunted. This time some young guy got up on a stone embankment and began to speak.
I can only paraphrase his appeal. It went something like this: “We haven’t come here to antagonize the police. Our purpose is to find justice, to reveal the true perpetrators who took the lives of their fellow policemen and other victims on 9/11. And we expect when the full truth is revealed that the police will be marching side by side with us.” A huge round of applause rose from the marchers. Would that we could diffuse this animosity between citizens and centurions in the bitter Pax Americana.
The speaker continued, “We know you have lost friends, maybe family members, men and women who worked close with you. Some with us today have too. My brother-in-law was a cop. I don’t think we’re all that different inside.” He stood there, a guy in his 30s, above the crowd, like a coach speaking to a team, encouraging the players to work together to win. It was the last thing I expected. No more fiery rhetoric or stunning facts. Just one man speaking from the heart to the heart.
The 9/11 crowd burst out in applause and cheers when he finished. The police blinked. One senior guy in a suit wrote down what he heard. Was that a sign of emotion, of being touched? Maybe the 9/11 Breakthrough broke through again. After his words, the speaker thanked us all for attending and asked us to disperse, to home or to St. Marks Church for some refreshment.
At that point, Alex Jones got up to remind the crowd that Tuesday, the next day, we should all gather at the offices of the Council on Foreign Relations at 58 East 68th Street near Park Avenue.
The CFR, Jones explained, was the uber organization that pulled all the strings.
William Blasé writing in The Conspiracy Archive, describes the CFR and the New World Order this way: “If one group is effectively in control of national governments and multinational corporations; promotes world government through control of media, foundation grants, and education; and controls and guides the issues of the day; then they control most options available. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the financial powers behind it, have done all these things, and promote the "New World Order," as they have for over seventy years.
“The CFR is the promotional arm of the Ruling Elite in the United States of America. Most influential politicians, academics and media personalities are members, and it uses its influence to infiltrate the New World Order into American life. Its' "experts" write scholarly pieces to be used in decision making, the academics expound on the wisdom of a united world, and the media members disseminate the message.” So this was the key organization for all concerned to know about.”
Having received our marching orders, we turned, walked out under the huge arch from One Police Plaza towards Broadway, one of Walt Whitman’s favorite streets, spanning the length of Manhattan. Somewhere in the great beyond, America’s greatest poet (and lover of Mannahattan) winked at us for a day well spent, for grief redressed, for coming together, for raising voices, for taking a step towards unification.
And, as a postscript, it is a cruel irony though not a surprise that the 9/11 Truthers were equated in August by CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour with the “sky terrorists liquid explosive plotters” (whatever happened to them). This was as Paul Joseph Watson wrote in the linked article, “The latest brazen attempt to vilify anyone who disagrees with the official 9/11 fairytale. “Other recent 9/11 hit pieces have slandered the 9/11 truth movement as having a violent extremist undertone. No incidents of violence at any 9/11 truth convergence or protest have ever occurred and organizers consistently advocate purely peaceful demonstrations.” I second that.
So, at the end of the day, the face of disinformation would continue to shill for the terror-meisters, both of whom were building their private illicit fortunes expounding this crap. Thus if it takes taking to the streets to dispel it, we must do it. If it takes bringing the tents and the thousands to Washington to set the record straight, we must do it. Whatever it takes for peace, love, harmony to return, we must do it. But pitch in, America. The time for action is short. Freedom is an incomparable and exhilarating feeling. But once lost, it takes lifetimes to recover.
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