San Francisco's 9th Annual 9/11 Truth Rally/March - Satyagraha - Truth Force - Events Report
Arriving at the 12th Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival
Janet Kobren and David Chandler
San Francisco, the City of Love, nine years after the attacks that dramatically changed the world, activists gathered at the Panhandle for the 9th Annual 9/11 Truth Rally/March. They acted in solidarity with the social movements born to resist tyranny, empire, racism, injustice, militarism that have evolved and continue to struggle today in a world, described by Orwell, of "Universal Deceit."
The Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance spearheaded the 6th Annual 9/11 Truth Film Festival which lasted from Thursday through Sunday, highlighting documentary films, premiering Hypothesis, a biography of Dr. Steven Jones, featuring speakers - Peter Phillips and lMickey Huff of Project Censored, and David Chandler, high school physics teacher, whose analysis of the destruction of the WTC buildings puts the official NIST report to shame.
Gandhi said, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Satyagraha - Truth Force was born when 3000 people gathered together on September 11, 1906, to oppose an unjust racist law targeting the Indian population of South Africa. Satyagraha is a synthesis of the Sanskrit words satya (meaning "truth") and Agraha ("pursuit of"). Gandhi believed that life itself is a pursuit of truth. For Gandhi, satyagraha became strength in practicing non-violent methods, or in his words "the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence" or “soul force.” Martin Luther King Jr. defined it as "Love in Action." Gandhi was inspired by Leo Tolstoy, and Gandhi’s efforts inspired others, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights movement, and other movements, including the Truth movement.
Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
The speakers that morning included David Chandler, who also spoke on September 9th in Los Angeles and at the Film Festival at the Grand Lake Theater, to announce the launch of Scientists for 9/11 Truth, Actors and Artists for 9/11 Truth, and Military Officers for 9/11 Truth. Former Senator and presidential candidate, Mike Gravel moderated a press conference in DC with Richard Gage, AIA, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth The press conferences and information presented by scientists, architects and engineers which challenges the official story continues to be censored and ignored by the corporate media. Project Censored has been censored for its examination of 9/11, and their new book Censored 2011, which includes a chapter on 9/11 and State Crimes Against Democracy, explains the Truth Emergency that exists in our Orwellian manufactured media news landscape which conceals rather than reveals the critical nature of reality on which most human decisions need to be made. (A cover story in the San Francisco Bay Guardian entitled - Censored in a brave new world - Project Censored: The top 10 big stories the major news media didn't report in 2009 came out today, September 15, 2010). Our challenge wasn’t simply getting out certain truths about our issues, but on exposing the veil that draped a media construction of reality that served tyrants, war mongers, oppressors, the construction of a global fascist state, at the expense of humanity and the biosphere. The corporate media did not show up. A photographer from a college paper and a reporter from KPFA, who recorded most of the speeches and interviewed many of us during the march did come.
David’s specialty was explaining the problems of the official NIST reports and how they violated the fundamental laws of physics. Chandler’s presentation at the Grand Lake included his analysis of the sound evidence that showed explosives that were used on WTC 7. He drew attention, as well, to a video showing Amy Goodman fleeing from the vicinity of WTC 7, begging the question as to why Goodman, who was a witness to the demolition of World Trade Center 7, has failed to investigate a key element of the official story that was omitted from the 9/11 Commission’s report.
Janet Kobren, a survivor of the Free Gaza Flotilla, shared her story of how she was drawn into supporting the plight of the Palestinian people, and breaking the blockade which was preventing them from getting much needed aid. Zachary Running Wolf arrived on his bicycle, a bit late, and welcomed all of us “to the reservation.” He stated that native people understood “occupation” and knew that “9/11 was an inside job.” He had conducted a prayer ceremony at Lake Merritt earlier, and was calling for a four day driving boycott, to oppose the oil wars and assault on the environment by the fossil fuel industry and the military. There was also a call for a boycott of the corporate media.
I mentioned my own efforts to be the media and how censored 9/11 truth was, prompting "Dick Gregory to begin a liquid fast, until the truth about 9/11 is known. Dick Gregory was responsible for getting the Zapruder film shown on national tv, which created a public outcry, forcing a congressional investigation into the Kennedy assassination in the 70s, who concluded that Kennedy’s death was the result of a conspiracy. There was a campaign underway to get the video of the controlled demolition of WTC 7 (the Zapruder film of 9/11) shown to the public.
Vic Sadot and Bernie Rauch brought their guitars and sang songs. We had lots of flyers, signs, a banner and a police escort as we marched up Ashbury, down Haight Street, through Golden Gate Park, drawing people’s attention, and dispersing info as we made our way to the 12th Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival, where we had three booths set up to educate the enormous crowd, numbering over 70,000 that were still converging at Speedway Meadows.
9/11 Truth March Arrives at Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance's
9/11 Truth and Cookies Booth
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth at the 12th Annual Power to the
Generally, we parade around the main audience, all the way up to the stage and around the other side, but we lost much of our parade at the 9/11 Truth and Cookies booth and the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth booth, and the crowd was almost too strong and big to navigate through with our banner and signs, particularly near the stage area. The new Deception and Perception Dollars were popular. The booths were popular, even when the cookies ran out.
That afternoon and evening the film festival ran in San Francisco and in San Leandro, I tried to make it to the Gandhi Statue for Arnie Passman’s Take Back Gandhi’s 9/11 Celebration, but miscalculated how much time it would take to get samosas, naan and get through traffic; we were late. The sun had set, a small circle of poets and friends read poems and spoke to one another beside the statue, as the day’s warmth slipped away. I found Arnie’s poem particularly inspiring:
A GOOD NEW FASHIONED AMERICAN SALT MARCH
FOR FRANCISCO HERRERA -- CAMINONDO
Let's go on a good new fashioned American salt march,
Just like the good old fashioned satyagrahaing Gandhi in walks of yore.
That 23 day stroll to the Indian Ocean,
To scoop up the saline sailin' in,
Cuz the bloody Brits were saltaxing folks to death.
Believed to be the startling of the sunset of British rule in India.
What we would do, where would we bare watch?
To ever improvise our impoverished land.
From closed border to border,
Sea to slimy shore.
Figure eights within loosey fuguests.
We would gather at the dozen or so Gandhi statues,
From San Francisco to Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Atlanta,
New York, Boston, Hawaii, Bellevue, Washington,
Stopping to sit in at the biggest defense spending congressional districts,
And TV and radio stations by the tens of thousands,
As our nonviolent irate vox populi against all war all the time --
A Christian notion for a Christian nation --
To take us to the pure joy of jail time.
Yeah, let's go on a good new fashioned American salt march;
We could get down in Crawford, Texas,
With the retard commander in chief.
Hang high at Cheney's wild Wyoming spread.
Go 'round 'n' 'round our disabled land,
Cleanin' and healin' as we hip-hop along.
Nullifying the stultifying empire,
Solidarityngling once again awe prickly pear
Mulberrry bushes for our democracy now.
I had a chance to speak, too and mention what I felt were the most potent “satyagrahas” taking place – the Free Gaza boats, courageously drawing world attention to the Palestinian plight, and the valiant, efforts of the truth movement, Dick Gregory, Richard Gage, Stephen Jones, and countless others, to break media censorship and draw world attention to the controlled demolition of World Trade Center 7. By that time I felt it was safe to mention the direct action taking place in New York, the third light beam, that activists hoped to shine. Our best hope to counter the violent forces, dependent on lies, wars, violence to maintain their power is individual and massive, global non-violent non-co-operation, and satyagraha, creative, courageous, acts of love.
Gandhi said "When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, always."
I didn’t want to speechify and abuse my audience, as it was late and getting colder, and I felt they already knew profoundly what I have learned this year about satyagraha and the evolution of social movements.
Social movements are linked and learn from one another. It only takes one person to begin a social movement. One person who has the courage to say “This is wrong; this is unjust, and to point out the lie, the injustice, the harm that is taking place.” To end slavery, to gain women the right to vote, to abolish apartheid, to liberate India from the British, the seeds were sown by very few people, but others were drawn to their efforts or to begin their own complementary struggles by the natural, innate, human affinity to seek truth, justice, to love and to live in alignment with our deepest, most sacred values. Our contemporary struggles, due to modern communications, have propagated rapidly, and while we may seem like a few in our particular intersection of time and space, there are probably small groups, mirroring us in multiple places, that we don’t even know about. The blatant malevolency of the oppressive structures dooms them, and the indomitable small strength of the human spirit and many, many circles seeking truth, justice, and peace assures us that our movements will be successful, eventually, although the road may be long and winding.
[ photos courtesy of John W. Wright (aka LeftWright) - LW]