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Civil Disobedience at Downing Street for 9/11 Justice: An Interview with Gareth Newnham

Source: 9/11 Truth News
Category: ACTION

Gareth Newnham reports:

On Monday 31st January 2011, in solidarity with Jon Gold's action outside the White House, I took a ‘911 Truth’ sign to Downing Street – the British Prime Minister lives at No. 10 – and sat down outside the gates. Within seconds I was approached by a policeman carrying a machine gun who demanded I immediately move, a request with which I respectfully declined to comply with. After ten minutes I was approached by two Ministry of Defence policemen who issued the same request. We talked a little about 9/11. Moments later a police van pulled up and four police officers got out – I was also surprised to see a further four Ministry of Defence policeman approaching to see what was going on. After explaining that I was respectfully going to decline all further requests to move on I found myself being dragged from where I was sitting, put into the police van, and driven away to Charing Cross Police Station.

I was released later the next evening having been detained for 30 hours. I’m glad I took a good book!

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Civil Disobedience at Downing Street for 9/11 Justice

An Interview with Gareth Newnham

9/11 Truth News: Why is 9/11 worth going to jail for?

Gareth Newnham: As a result of Monday's action many of the Downing Street and Ministry of Defence security detail got to find out there was guy with a ‘911 Truth’ sign refusing to go away who had to be carried off by police officers. That starts off all kinds of conversational chain reactions. So in that respect it was worth it.

A friend said to me once that the only rightful place for a peaceful person to be during times of war is in prison. I think it’s a really interesting statement and one I believe to be true. If every person of conscience, every person claiming to be against the war performed non-violent civil disobedience of this kind, the state could no longer claim to be legitimately democratic. It’s certainly a tactic that I intend to repeat and I hope others explore for themselves.

It is also worth mentioning a UK act of Parliament called the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. This legislation, similar in tone to the US Patriot Act, not only grants the police unprecedented powers to search and arrest people but certain sections of the act ban all unauthorised protests within 1 kilometre of Parliament unless written permission is requested from the police 6 days in advance. Even if authorisation is obtained the police are allowed to impose conditions on a protest – and in the case of Downing Street all protests have effectively been banned. Instead they allow protestors to stand in fenced box over 30 metres away across the road, where you can’t be seen.

Unjust laws are one of the consequences of the Post-9/11 world. Brutal wars, torture, demonisation of muslim and non-white communities are some of the other undesirable social, political and cultural injustices and there are many, many more. All are excellent reasons for civil disobedience.

911TN: At what level do you find the receptivity to this topic within the anti-war movement in England? Is there the same sort of disconnect that we've seen in the USA, where people don't seem to quite grasp the relevance of the legitimacy of the 9/11 story (or lack of it) to the prosecution of what we've been promised is an endless war?

Gareth Newnham: The receptivity in the UK is poor, no doubt about that. I have spoken privately to representatives of the largest UK anti-war organisation - the Stop the War Coalition - and although many of them have expressed doubts about the official story, I strongly suspect the reason they don’t speak publicly about them has to do with the 'third rail' recently written about by Jon Gold. Defined by Wikipedia as "a metaphor in politics to denote an idea or topic that is so 'charged' and'untouchable' that any politician or public official who dares to broach the subject would invariably suffer politically.” I think that sadly with the subject of 9/11 a similar fear is a major contributing factor to the deafening silence from the leading figures of the anti-war movement. Despite the fact there is more than enough compelling evidence proving high level US complicity in 9/11, no one wants to be labelled a ‘conspiracy theorist’ - as nonsensical as this ad hominem term is it has a very powerful effect on people.

I don’t really want to speculate beyond that but I think we should be aware that the military industrial complex are fully cognisant of the effect organised and popular resistance has on the war machine and therefore are likely to have attributed resources to limiting these efforts. We know from historical examples like the FBI COINTELPRO program in the Sixties that it happens.

What I find disappointing among the anti-war movement – regardless of the inability to connect the evidence of a staged pretext to legitimise the war and create public support for it – is the complete silence in respect of tax strikes, another form of civil disobedience. If a fraction of the millions who marched in London in 2003 knew that it was a viable strategy, and pro-peace organisations offered support and guidance then it would certainly go some way to bringing these wars that we are directly funding to a peaceful end.

911TN: What is one of the biggest challenges you've faced in trying to educate others about the 9/11 topic and how have you sought to overcome that challenge?

Gareth Newnham: The effect finding out about 9/11 had on my relationships with my friends and family was definitely a challenge. Initially I found talking about the issue a demoralising and mostly unsuccessful venture. Their rejection of the information hit me pretty hard but I knew I lacked a strong grasp of the subject matter. I undertook 3 months intensive study. It sounds so odd thinking about it now but it was only after the studying, upon venturing out to a 911 meeting in London, that I first met others that had come into the same information. That was just under 5 years ago. Now so many more people seem to be acquainted with the facts and the movement has evolved considerably. I guess the lesson I learned with my friends and family is that you can only do your best, give them d.v.ds, books, recommend the best websites etc and give them space and time to digest the information. Ultimately it’s their choice if they want to engage with the subject or not.

Something else I have found far less challenging but significant enough to mention is being a target of crude and unsubstantiated attacks. It seems that if you demonstrate a commitment to responsible promotion of the message, attempts will be made to discredit you and your work. But I take comfort from the fact that I’m by no means alone and that similar attacks are occurring again and again to people who have a long history of successful campaigning. I have come to accept that it’s just part of the terrain. If anything it’s a sign that you must be doing something right.

Civil Disobedience at Downing Street for 9/11 Justice

911TN: You're not just a 9/11 justice activist. What are some of the other causes you work on and how does it fit in with 9/11?

Gareth Newnham: I was involved with the ‘Kew Bridge Eco Village’ - an experiment in sustainable community living and permaculture farming methods that existed from June 2009 until May the following year. Its original intention was to highlight the inequalities inherent in Britain's land rights and provide a response to the converging economic, energy and ecological crises with the intention of inspiring real debate on real solutions. To a large extent it was very successful. Around 30-40 people of all ages and backgrounds were able to co-exist in relative harmony. We got a tremendous amount of mainstream media coverage, most of it fair and supportive.

We took our inspiration from the Native Americans and individuals like Gerard Winstanley who in the mid 1600's, with fourteen other men took over and farmed vacant and common lands in England, producing food that was distributed evenly among those who participated and other needy peoples. Winstanley believed that the earth and its fruits were "a common treasury for all". Further writings he distributed in the form of pamphlets expressed a worldview that envisioned a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, acknowledging the inherent connections between people and their surroundings. He once declared that "true freedom lies where a man receives his nourishment and preservation, and that is in the use of the earth". Similar writings and practices appear throughout history in indigenous communities predating western culture.

We found that what we were trying to achieve with the Kew Bridge Eco Village became contagious and other projects sprung up locally and in other parts of the UK. Towards the end we made significant steps in being completely self-sufficient but due to planning permission being granted for luxury apartments we were forcefully evicted from the land.

Some of us then decided to take our message to the centre of the political establishment in the UK, setting up a 'Democracy Village' in Parliament Square opposite the Houses of Parliament. Similar in ethos to the Kew Project we focused our attention on campaigning for an end to the war in Afghanistan. The result was a blitz of peaceful direct actions. Buildings were scaled (including our Houses of Parliament, twice!) and banners were hung. The actions took place throughout the area until, three months after it began, a High Court injunction was approved and we were again forcibly removed from the land.

Currently I'm involved in the early stages of a Transition Town project in my local area.

I think the link between these actions and 9/11 stem from a belief that war and international terrorism exist because of an over-reliance on fossils fuels. These fossil fuels appear to not only be running out but their use is having an alarming effect on our planet, potentially making it uninhabitable in the long-term.

The academic Nafeez Ahmed has made substantial efforts to understand these issues in his recent book A Users Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save it. In it he draws upon a wealth of scientific data to point out that these major crises affecting our planet are symptoms of one single ailing global system. I'm recommending it to everyone, not because my friend Dean Puckett is making a film inspired by the book, but because the information within it is genuinely important.

Our way of life is unsustainable. It doesn't need to be.

911TN: What have you found to be the most effective method of educating others about 9/11?

Gareth Newnham: Generally I find people are receptive to the story of the victims' families – The Jersey Girls, Bob Mcllvaine – and documented in the film 9/11: Press For Truth. The nature of their extraordinary fight to get an investigation to find out what happened to their loved ones is remarkably powerful and one which seems to make the subject matter more accessible and palatable for newcomers.

The works of Peter Dale Scott and Nafeez Ahmed are hugely useful in the detailing of the deeper historical and geopolitical context of 9/11. Their work seems to bring a very real understanding of not only how 9/11 happened but why.

The documentation supporting Anglo-American covert links to Al Qaeda as an actual asset furthering specific economic and strategic interests is pretty damning. There is just no room for dispute with that sort of information.

911TN: Where do we go from here?

Gareth Newnham: More outreach. More civil disobedience. More commitment to promoting responsible information. More alliances. More recognition of why 9/11 happened.

It’s time for the world to find out that the 9/11 Truth movement not only wants peace but is capable of helping achieve it.

Show "An Activist's Goal Should Not Be To Get Arrested" by Aidan Monaghan

You're right...

People shouldn't go that extra mile because it has no affect.

Wrong.

The best activism inspires other activism. You don't even know how many people thanked me for what I did. I know Gareth has gotten praise as well. I know family members who appreciated what we tried to do. The best activism inspires other activism.

There's room for a diversity of approaches

I got 11th of the month outreach and our group has it's fortnightly 'working group' meeting tomorrow.

And 7 people have said they're coming to the next action already.

Which is...

February 26th at 12PM at 10 Downing Street.

As I said, the best activism inspires other activism. The Veterans inspired me to do what I did. I inspired Gareth to do what he did. 7 other people are meeting Gareth at 10 Downing Street because they were inspired by what he did.

Right

we should remember that Luke Rudkowskys confrontation of Brzezinski inspired people all over the world to form or join WAC groups.
The most inspiring thing is the winter patriot who stands alone. This needs much more braveness and toughness than acting in a crowd. I admire that.

Yea we need to remember what a failure

This "confrontation" was and what a failure all the confrontation type actions have been. "Confrontations" keep making us look crazy and marginalizing our movement. We Are Change people storming into speech's and yelling buzz phrases like, 'you were at Bilderberg' or 'you are part of the CFR.' or even '9/11 was an inside job,' and just make us look crazy. Walking up to mic and asking a question or even if one must interrupt, asking a question about 9/11 specifically is what I consider a quality 9/11 Truth action. Yelling names and buzz slogans or conspiracy theories you have 'figured out' is simply counterproductive activism. These We Are Change antics helped sever a lot of potential lefty Jon Stewart fans in a very direct way for instance. Yes it does require bravery to attend events and speak to these leaders and maintain composure in the process. A willingness to do that deserves praise. But alas, if it is more brawn than bravery as it has been in unfortunately the majority of "confrontations," we lose as a movement every time. I could start getting into how it's not a great idea that everyone of their videos only promotes we are change and infowars websites, both of which are simply awful introductions to the subject.

Luke made it all to easy for Brezinski to make him look like a fool. No questions, only rhetoric and childish alex jones style ad-hominem filled conjectures. It's as simple as that.

You're right

on this view, but I'm too. The spirit brought others to join the movement and to organize. And that was my point, not in praising Luke Rudkowskys rude interuptions, instead showing that one man or woman can make THE difference.

The following Quote comes to my mind:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead
US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 - 1978)

I suspect my opinion will be

I suspect my opinion will be unpopular but this action really doesn't resonate with me either. For one thing, could the sign have said something a little more thought-provoking than "9/11 Truth"? Visually, this action says very little, and comes across as melodramatic and mere attention-seeking on the part of a single individual. If it had been tied to a relevant event and had employed a group rather than an individual, it might have had more impact.

Sorry, but I think actions need to be better planned out, or they end up making the greater effort look silly.

Gareth...

Did a fantastic job both with his action, and his write-up. It was inspirational. Have you met Aidan Monaghan? I imagine you two would get along nicely.

There is also something powerfully

expressed, when you place your very body, mind and spirit, into the works, which has it's own effect the likes of which perhaps we do not even begin to understand...

I'll bet Jon that there was a profound spiritual element to your action and that there was a depth of awareness to it, that what you were doing was so right and for all the right reasons, and having made yourself that very reason personified, physically - that's powerful stuff, of the kind of power which few understand or appreciate these days, living as we do in a very Newtonian, materialist worldview.

it's no less powerful even if the action isn't followed up, copied and multiplied exponentially, even though that's what tends to happen as Gandhi discovered and as we're finding out here.

Wonderful stuff - world changing, however big or small and however fast or slow.

"There's room for a diversity of approaches"

I agree completely.

What I can't stand is people who know yet do nothing, say nothing.

Nothing is going to happen biting the tongue and sitting on hands.

I applaud all genuine effort.

I've seen courage, creativity, tenacity, perseverance, sacrifice, compassion. But most of all... LOVE.

THANKS GARETH.

Some piss poor trolling

1/10

Go back and do your homework, I think your definition of 'activist' is fundamentally flawed. But I think you know that ;)

For what it is worth I think

For what it is worth I think Aidan has a point. NYCCAN is doing something very powerful and could use all of the energy that any activists want to devote to it. It has the advantage of reaching a huge sympathetic audience. Philosophically, I think that civil disobedience is ordinarily directed at a specific law that is thought to be unjust, and normally the manner in which civil disobedience is carried out is by deliberately violating said law in a public way. 911 is a crime, so it is not actually the content of a law, and therefore it is almost incoherent to talk about an act of civil disobedience for 911 truth. Nevertheless I respect and admire the people who did these actions. I don't want to discourage them, we all carry out our activism for this important cause in different ways. But it is true that activism can be conducted within the law to great effect.

Great great job...

Gareth, and thank you. Awesome interview.

Awesome Interview!!

Good effort Gareth.. Thanks to YT too for doing this. Enjoy seeing this type of activity and it is inspiring. Take care. Glad you didn't mind staying in for so long too :)

This picture...

Is Gold.

Yes, that's an absolutely

awesome photo - that photo alone was well worth the effort, that's very inspirational, and very telling.

They cannot drag everyone away, nor the truth once grasped from our mind or the collective consciousness of half the civilized world and growing.

9/11 truth is a terrible problem for the PTB, keeps the pressure on in the right direction. Very transformative.

But then

Any ordinary uninformed citizen woul say 'Thank God they are taking away a loon'.

True

sad but true.

But long term... then it's a different story, then it might be helpful to have photographs of such people, so that looking back everyone will know who to thank, who to say "there's a hero". So, we can leave it on the shelf for now, or make use of it as needed.

It certainly spurs more activism, more non-violent civil disobediance in the name of historical justice.

Not Gold

Too skinny. This picture is Newnham.

Are you serious

or don't you know this is an expression?

LOL

LOL

I got the JOKE

.

Civil disobedience

Here's an excerpt from a piece by Howard Zinn about the civil rights movement...

"On February 1, 1960, four freshmen at A & T College in
Greensboro, North Carolina, took seats at a lunch counter downtown, not knowing they were starting a movement that would soon take on the proportions of a revolution. "For about a week, " David Richmond recalled later, "we four fellows sat around at A &T campus, talking about the integration movement. And we decided we ought to go down to Woolworth's and see what would happen." They spent an hour sitting at the Woolworth's counter, with no service. Then the counter was closed for the day, and they went home.

In a matter of days, the idea leaped to other cities in North Carolina. During the next two weeks, sit-ins spread to fifteen cities in five Southern states. Within the following year, over 50,000 people-most were Negroes, some were white-had participated in one kind of demon- stration or another in a hundred cities, and over 3,600 demonstrators spent time in jail. But there were results to show: by the end of 1961,sev-eral hundred lunch counters had been desegregated in scores of cities-in Texas, Oklahoma, the border states of the South, and even as far as Atlanta, Georgia. A wall of resistance, however, apparently impenetrable, faced the student in the rest of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana-and the hard-core Deep South.

It is hard to overestimate the electrical effect of that first sit-in in Greensboro, as the news reached the nation on television screens, over radios, in newspapers. In his Harlem apartment in New York City, Bob Moses, a former Harvard graduate student and mathematics teacher, saw a picture of the Greensboro sit-inners. "The students in that picture had a certain look on their faces, " he later told writer Ben Bagdikian, "sort of sullen, angry, determined. Before, the Negro in the South had always looked on the defensive, cringing. This time they were taking the initia- tive. They were kids my age, and I knew this had something to do with my own life ..."

--

People who disparage civil disobedience and insist on going through the "proper channels" have very little understanding of how positive social change has been achieved throughout history. Whether the abolition of slavery, the eight hour work day, the creation of unions, the end of child labor, increased rights for women and minorities, etc. etc. -- none of these were accomplished merely by writing letters and voting. They were accomplished by people willing to put their bodies on the line and go to jail.

Civil disobedience alone is not enough, obviously. It must be accompanied by all sorts of other activities. But without it, don't expect much in the way of concrete change.

Great job Gareth.

In my opinion...

People either understand the gravity of the situation, or they don't. This isn't a game. There are people dying. The further away we get from that day, the harder it will be to get to the truth. We must step it up. It's long past due people stopped spending their time arguing about theories on the internet.

Well said Jon !!

And the Howard Zinn piece above is a great fit here. Let´s get going in another gear.

More pictures...

I might hang this picture

...on my wall. :-)

It's iconic.

Inspiring action and interview

Bravo, Gareth - you put your body on the gears and spoke eloquently for truth and justice.

The picture of 9/11 Truth being dragged by the police to a paddy wagon is stunning.

Great work

Would like to correspond with you, Gareth. I've done NVCD about 30 times, davidslesinger@yahoo.com. My first NVCD for 911Truth was in 2006 and even covered in a hostile way by the BBC.
Thanks