One Giant Step...Vers La Vérité
Last weekend, from October 9 to 11, Debora Blake and Annie Machon organized “Vers La Vérité” in Paris, France. The event was sponsored in part by ReOpen911 France. “Vers La Vérité” was a mix of public and private events where each sub-event was designed to facilitate communication between people who share common concerns on important issues, including 9/11. It was not a 100% 9/11 Truth conference. The goal was to position 9/11 in the broader context of related and equally disturbing issues such as illegal wars and reduction of civil liberties.
They kicked off the event with a press conference on Friday morning attended by a journalist from a mainstream newspaper, France Soir and the independent TéléLibre. The mayor of Paris's second district introduced Cynthia who made a brief statement and took some questions. Annie Machon also spoke briefly.
On Friday night, in one of Paris's notorious all-night hang-outs, the Café Etincelle, activists from around the globe met up and began sharing ideas. This was also an opportunity to reach out to the general public and allow them the chance to talk with "the specialists".
As the activists were having a drink together, just across the Seine river, at the restaurant Le Procope, Cynthia McKinney was having dinner in the company of the activist-sponsors who made generous donations in order to have a seat at the table (and defray the costs of organizing Vers La Vérité). Le Procope is the oldest restaurant in Paris and was where many great minds gathered to discuss important issues of the day. Benjamin Franklin worked on the US Constitution there. It was truly a special moment to be walking, or rather, "sitting, dining and discussing in their footsteps". It as history in the making.
At noon on Saturday, they started with a healthy and delicious organic brunch in the Olive Grove at La Bellevilloise. The atmosphere was light and friendly, and everyone was even treated to a brief, but beautiful, impromptu piano performance by talented activist Patrick from the UK. Brunch was followed by the private Strategy session that allowed everyone a chance to focus on how best to move forward as a movement.
Saturday evening was the main event: 4 exemplary individuals with complementary experiences all on the same stage to help the public begin to understand the complexity of 9/11. Debora was the host of the evening, introducing the guests and trying to keep the program on schedule. When the videos come out, you may want to watch it in slow motion!
First up was Annie Machon who briefly told the public about her work as a counter-terrorism officer for MI5 in London. This allowed people to hear firsthand that governments do indeed orchestrate illegal actions and cover them up.
Next, to introduce Cynthia McKinney, Debora had edited and subtitled a special 17-minute version of American Blackout so the public could see how the Bush administration openly colluded with private firms to steal the election that would ultimately put GWB in the White House and manipulate the one that would later take Cynthia McKinney out of Congress. Following the film, on stage, Cynthia made a speech inspired by the breaking news announcement of President Obama's being the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She very astutely mentioned how ironic it was that at the same time, his administration was announcing the deployment of between 10,000 and 60,000 new troops to Afghanistan along with the announcement of the imminent availability of a new generation of bunker buster bombs which can be fitted with nuclear tips.
Due to time constraints, Cynthia tool 3 questions from the audience and then Giulietto Chiesa took the stage. Recently back from a trip to Siberia, he broke the sad news to the audience that, over the past few years, Siberia has witnessed the formation of "lakes the size of France", and that diminishing resources will ultimately lead to a horrendous battle of survival of the fittest if we don't start changing our way of life immediately. They then showed ZERO and brought the other face of the 9/11 issue to the public's attention. Since the evening’s focus was on many disturbing issues, 9/11 being at the core, the public was not necessarily aware of the numerous inconsistencies in the official government version of the facts. Now they are.
Following some quick Q&A with Giulietto, Niels Harrit helped the audience understand the importance of his research and findings, namely the discovery of unexploded nano-thermite in the World Trade Center dust.
To add a little levity to the evening, we auctioned off a dvd of the documentary, American Blackout, along with a special copy of Global Outlook with Cynthia McKinney on the cover and the highest bidder turned out to be Mathieu Kassovitz, one of France's most famous actors and film directors. To those who thought or assumed it was planned, it was not! Mathieu has recently spoken publicly on live national television in France that the official 9/11 narrative if rife with problems. He has rapidly become one of our biggest advocates.
To close out the evening, Debora showed a special 10-minute montage, a sort of "best of" French comic Jean-Marie Bigard's 9/11 video clips that she put together and subtitled into English especially for the occasion. Everyone had a good laugh and when the lights came back up, people had a hard time leaving the room, which was just as packed at the beginning as it was at the end. Proof that the night was a big success.
Sunday morning, about 50 activists assembled at Place de la République for Paris's first 9/11 Truth demonstration. As the group waited for others to gather, Debora decided to bring a flyer over to two police escorts and gave them a crash course on what's wrong with the official report. As the two plain clothes officers learned about each new anomaly, their faces revealed shock and surprise, and their words left no doubt. They quickly agreed that something is very wrong. When they asked about Bin Laden, Giulietto Chiesa was just arriving for the march. So Debora brought him over and he briefly explained to the police officers what was wrong with the Bin Laden videos. The group left Place de la République, and began to walk to Place de la Bastille. Debora led the procession carrying a 9/11 Truth Now sign that Diana brought from Spain and attached to a tree branch she found on the ground. As they walked, they shouted "11 Septembre, coup monté! Nous voulons la vérité! 11 Septembre coup monté! Nous savons que vous mentez!" That means "9/11 inside job! We want the truth! 9/11 inside job! We know you're lying!" As the group moved down the boulevard, our escorts stopped traffic at green lights so we could cross the street. How great to see Truthers getting the royal treatment! By the time they reached Bastille, our escorts had asked some activists in the group if they had any extras dvds. They did and graciously gave a few to the police officers. As the demo came to a close 2 hours later, the officers told Debora everything went perfectly and that they would file a positive report so that if, in the future, we want to organize another demonstration, there will be no problem. That was a beautiful moment as well.
Overall there was some press coverage, such as Libération, TéléLibre and Turkish Times. Cynthia also gave interviews with representatives from Amnesty International and Nexus magazine. Mainstream tv station M6 was on hand Saturday night gathering information for "60 Minutes" type program they're working on.
All in all, it was a remarkable weekend. Activists from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK and the US were on hand. Cynthia McKinney was fabulous, captivating people wherever she went. Giulietto, Niels and Annie were all wonderful, too. It was truly an honour to have these remarkable individuals at Vers La Vérité.