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March 20, 2004 Protest in New York City:
A Credible Resistance Movement Builds

On March 20th, 2004 a protest was held in New York City with about 100,000 participants (not including the tens of thousands of police). Unlike last year’s protest in the same location the atmosphere was light and festive. The police attacked no protesters who in turn did no property damage. Even the weather cooperated, producing a sunny, windless day on the first day of Spring.

March 20th is a special day for the new century. This writer is a veteran of many rallies, vigils and protests since 9/11/01. However, on this day comes a spark from a single individual of such intensity that it rivals in mind the Chinese man who stopped a tank by himself at some time surrounding the massacre at Tianneman Square. More on this will come shortly.

One of the clear highlights of the afternoon is when Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon briefly stand in front of me as they participate in the event. Yoko seems vulnerable and is not entirely comfortable with large crowds. Sean looks so much like his mad genius father (i.e., Dr. Winston O’Boogie) that looking at his face produces a jolt to the senses.

We take the bus out from Baltimore via All People’s Congress. The two buses that have been chartered are not the best. (The bus I am on has few functional reading lights and no television for the long ride home.) However, it is rather exciting when we finally arrive in Manhattan. The bus parks near the United Nations building and the East River.

While heading southwest to the focal point of the demonstration I see two guys walking across the street carrying 9-11 signs. I make a quick J-walk over to the opposite sidewalk to ask them for a sign. It is here that I finally meet Nico, with whom I have been corresponding for over a year. We talk; he gives me a 9-11 protest sign and some literature to distribute. Then we part.

Suddenly, my optimism about the effectiveness of this demonstration soars. This is not going to be kind of protest where little is said that disturbs power. Indeed, Nico will boast later that evening that thousands of “911 Coverup” signs were collectively employed in the New York and San Francisco demonstrations.

Critically Evaluating the Language

Mike Ruppert has recently written that all progressive-minded activists fail because they refuse to learn from past examples. For most of the speakers and protesters marching through Manhattan I’d say Ruppert is right.

Sure, it is fun. Everyone is having a blast. However, I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every chant that is directed towards simply removing Bush from power—as if John Kerry represents a significant difference in policy. In addition, the speakers (heard through a series of loundspeaker stands) are thundering about imperialism, occupation and the costs of militarism with only crude strokes. With few exceptions none of them simply speaks and gives facts or information in anything resembling a conversational voice. The only speaker that I hear speaking in this fashion is political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. (Mumia recorded his message earlier from his prison cell in Pennsylvania). When Mumia’s message finishes the crowd gives him a great big hand and demands his freedom.

Gaps open and close as we walk the Manhattan streets with a large number of people watching from the sidewalks. As we move forward I am convinced that Bush and Cheney actually fear very little of what is being said. Surely Bush wouldn’t be awed by the large group of people who are marching behind me for much of the afternoon. This stern Church group is holding an incredibly wide brown banner bearing the words “Speak Truth to Power.” Behind them are other members of their group holding signs that resemble ancient parchment. One reads, “Thou shalt not kill (God).” While looking at these people I silently wonder if any of them have actually considered carrying a banner that says something which challenges power instead of imploring others to.

I soak in the festive atmosphere, aware of the constant set of eyes that are looking into mine as I carry my ‘911 Coverup’ sign. Besides the 911 activists, I see no other protesters who are acknowledging in their speech that last February, 15 million people around the world marched, sang and chanted their opposition to an invasion of Iraq. We shouted “Whose streets—our streets” in major cities everywhere. Bush didn’t care; he invaded Iraq anyway, dismissing overwhelming world opinion as a “focus group”. Clearly, we must adapt our tactics in order to survive.

The #1 Issue

Thanks to the work of incredible activists like Nico, The 911 Truth Movement is finally entering major protests around the country. It has been a long, hard struggle to get to this point. However, 911 Truth’s elevation as an issue is the best news for democracy since the awful events of 9/11/01 went down.

The more activists look at 9-11 the more they will see opportunities to use it to stop the neoconservatives and their considerable allies in the mainstream media. This is because:

  • 911 Truth harms the Bush regime with every level of inspection.
  • If the public doesn’t learn what really happened a much worse tragedy must follow.
  • 9-11 has been used by the Bush regime to support imperialism.
  • The Bush regime is using 9-11 to form a dictatorship.
  • The Bush regime continues to employ 9-11 for propaganda purposes.

Many of us first became 911 activists when we realized that if the Official Story were true, there still remains the issue of negligence. Since the Commander in Chief (i.e., Bush) sat in a classroom for 30 minutes listening to a story about a pet goat when explosions were ripping apart the Twin Towers he should be court-martialed and removed from command. Same with General Myers, who stayed in his office for an unusually long period of time that morning. Yet, two days after the complete destruction of the Twin Towers (9/13/01) his Senate confirmation hearing for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff took place. Needless to say, General Myers was promoted with bipartisan enthusiasm.

Today one can say without hesitation that the Official Story of what happened on 9/11/01 is a fraud that has been scientifically demolished. The more attention that the 911 Truth Movement receives from activists the more likely that researchers who can expose it as a fraud will be heard by the general public.

Sadly, the Left Gatekeepers (LG) remains the greatest obstacle preventing The 911 Truth Movement from dislodging neoconservatives from running this country. Amy Goodman who hosts the radio program Democracy Now! is one. A couple of days before the March 20th protest Goodman had on another guest on her show who repeated over and over the statement that there were 19 hijackers and 15 of them were Saudis. Unfortunately, it is evidently beyond Amy’s present capabilities as a journalist to permit anyone to appear on her show who can point out that there is no proof there were any hijackers at all.

Nico’s Statement

When I next see Nico he is marching with two friends of his. The banner they are carrying reads, “The Bush Regime Engineered 9-11”. This is exhilarating; the most courageous banner I’ve ever seen. Nico is in the middle of the street with it, keeping their pace very slow, as if he certain this is the best way to have as many eyes as possible see it.

The banner tells New Yorkers that they were lied to; that 3,000 of their own were murdered in broad daylight with the sponsorship of their government. It also tells the police that we are unhappy with the lack of a serious investigation behind the greatest single day of crimes in human history.

It tells people that most of the steel from the demolished buildings making up the World Trade Center was shipped to foreign ports before it had been properly examined by investigators. This crime scene evidence was deliberately tampered with by the New York City government.

Nico’s banner also reminds people that no plane struck the Pentagon. It also says the Twin Towers must have fallen because of controlled demolitions. Simply put, it tells the audience that there are innumerable other anomalies with the Official Story of 9-11 that should be investigated now.

Perhaps the group with their “Speak[ing] Truth to Power” banner should immediately precede Nico next time? Walking down the middle of the Manhattan streets with a banner claiming the Bush regime engineered 9-11 is an extraordinarily effective act of defiance.

Never before has the human race been so endangered. If you have read this far please join the 911 Truth Movement. It is the most promising area for activists to invest their time on.

Scott Loughrey

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