Update on NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative

Update on NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
Les Jamieson reports: Big Week For NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative

History was made on Tuesday, June 17th with the appearance of former Sen. Mike Gravel on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. Doug Wight, Jose Rodriguez (Sen. Gravel's assistant) and I were there in the studio. It was an amazing experience, being that we've tried so hard for so long to get decent coverage on Democracy Now. I was totally pleased with Amy's detailed setup of the interview. She basically explained what the Initiative is about, articulating that there is this effort calling for a new 9/11 investigation. It was apparent that she was well studied on this and new just what to say. Sen. Gravel got in some good sound bites. He could have gone into more depth, but considering his flight from CA the night before was delayed 2 hours which caused him to get only 3 hours sleep, I have to give him kudos for what he did get across. Here are some direct results of the broadcast:

Between Tues. and Thurs. of this week 96 people called our Hotline. I think half of them are from around the country and half are in or near NYC. Also, 59 people signed our online Guest Book. Of these, 34 are in or near NYC. With these calls, plus emails gathered at the evening event at St. Marks, I just added over 55 people to the email list of people getting direct news and schedule about the Initiative. This list now has over 600 people.

The press conference and reception with Sen. Gravel were also historic. His message was loud and clear. We are on to something huge. A new 9/11 investigation must take place. We must do the necessary work to get the required signatures and we can absolutely get it done if everybody fulfills their role. He sees this as the only way to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their crimes! A main point was that although he would do all he could in his capacity, we must do all we can as well. It was also phenomenal to hear for the first time from a family member, Tom Ruggiero, who we had met petitioning in the subway at Union Sq. Station just a week ago. He thoroughly backs what we're doing. Also, that night at least 1,000 forms were given out to people who want to collect signatures!

Here is a partial transcript of Gravel's statements:

“So when you now have the situation where you can create a commission that does not have a political base, but has a citizen base, now you have an interesting animal to deal with the facts. And so that’s why it’s so important. Now keep in mind, legally, whether you have a federal commission, or a city or state commission, if you’re able to subpoena people and they come forward to testify and they commit perjury, now, it’s still a crime, it’s still a crime.

I can leave you with this one thought; if you don’t scratch away, if you don’t turn the rock over, you’ll never discover what really went on at 9/11, and as a result of 9/11, going into Iraq. And here the crime is done, and we gotta go kill somebody, so we got to the other side of the earth and kill a bunch of people, and so we kill more Americans than died in 9/11. That’s what needs to be investigated. These are criminal acts. Now I have a personal bias. I think that the sooner that we put the president, or a vice president, or a secretary in jail, the sooner we’ll shape up future leaders in the world.

We’re trying to change the paradigm of human democracy, of human governance, and that’s what this [Rally for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative] is all about, changing the paradigm of human governance right here in New York City by asserting that you saw something wrong that took place, and you want to address it through using the tool of the Initiative, the legislative power of citizenry to go after that fundamental change. I leave you with that charge, you go get the signatures in the next thirty days, and I’m doing the best I can, these people organizing this are doing the best they can, the charge is up to you to do the best that you can to bring it about. If it doesn’t happen, shame on all of us."

As a result of the press conference, we got online coverage in a Village Voice blog at http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2008/06/frmr_senator_gr.php . Note the good comments at the end. We also got a great article done in the Villager. See http://www.thevillager.com/villager_268/pentagonpapers.html. Now we're working on an article and press release which may have the potential of getting picked up on the AP newswire. Many thanks to David Cosgrove, Eric Laursen, and Jesse Richard for their PR work. Also, many thanks to all who did the logistical work like room and food setup to make the reception so pleasant.

Tom Ruggiero, Son of Deceased FDNY 9/11 Victim

For the first time family member Tom Ruggiero, who lost his step-father, one of the 343 members of the FDNY, spoke out publicly at our Press Conference for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative. After experiencing 3 funerals for his father since body parts were found at 3 separate times, he was emotionally spent and tried not to think about 9/11. Then he saw people gathering petition signatures for the Initiative and decided he had to get involved.

Tom shared that he was there to see the towers collapse. He went into detail about the numbers of people lost that day, and the fact that it has led to the devastating war wars resulting in over 600,000 deaths. Ruggiero said, "what started as a bullet hole has become a blood-stained mess. We need to figure out what happened, why it happened, and who is responsible. Politicians coming together and coming up with no answers doesn't work for me and it shouldn't work for anybody else. I'm an American and consider myself a patriot and I demand answers from my government. As a patriot I dont think that means we respect our government. That means we respect each other. I think we need to get together and demand answers. Its the right thing to do. "

Ralph Nader Publicly Acknowledges Need For NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative

At a Nader For President rally on Wed. June 18th at Sympony Space in Manhattan, Ralph Nader answered a question during the Q&A segment which indicated his displeasure with the way this Administration responded to the 9/11 attacks. The question was, “Why is it that Americans understand clearly they were lied to about the leadup to the Iraq war but they’re willing to trust [the government] in terms of the 9/11 attacks. That doesn’t seem to be very logical. I’d like to have your thoughts.”

Nader responded, “I don’t think they believe them in either place…People, when they’re lied to a lot and betrayed a lot, it becomes banal. That is, they internalize it and they give up on it…I’ve seen this happen. When people don’t expect to be lied to they get really angry but when they’re lied to day after day they sort of throw in the towel and go about their daily lives.

The 9/11 report would have never occurred if it wasn’t for the families. In other words, we had this complex attack on the United States and the federal government was not going to have an official inquiry. The families of the deceased kept pressuring so they finally appointed this Commission and it said right at the outset it wasn’t going to name names or hold anybody accountable. What kind of investigative commission is this? Is it just a narrative? …Because they weren’t going to hold anybody responsible there are questions they didn’t ask, there is testimony they didn’t obtain, and they allowed Bush and Cheney to sit in a room with the doors closed, and they would answer questions without being under oath, and the Commission members were not allowed to take notes. This is not a commission.

That’s why here in New York they are collecting 50,000 signatures to put it on the ballot in the city of New York so in November you can vote in a new inquiry with subpoena power. So that there are no excuses, there is no budget for it. It’s really interesting. You can raise a budget privately and that will be easy to do given what I hear around the country. So, it’s too easy to say it was a colossal sequence of massive, serial, repetitive incompetence. Without going into conspiracy theories, we need a more probing, honest, subpoena-driven inquiry. It is interesting that very, very few people were reprimanded or fired. Doesn’t that tell you something? Obviously, things went wrong and people should have been held responsible. But in Washington failure incurs no penalty. Actually you can get a talk show or get elected if you mess up. So, that’s what they’re doing now to get to the bottom of it.”

To learn more, and support the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative, visit www.nyc911initiative.org. Please direct any residents you know in or near NYC to the site to download the petition and learn how they can participate in the "campaign whose time has come".

next rally for NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative

The NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative is gaining momentum. The gathering of NYC petitioners for an independent 9/11 investigation will continue through the month of July. What action can be more direct in getting an authoritative commission and report for investigating the truth behind what happened September 11, 2001? Learn more at the next rally this Wednesday, July 2nd, 7pm, at the St. Marks Church (2nd. Ave. & 10th Street) in Manhattan.- or visit www.nyc911initiative.org

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