In Eugene today, nine people gathered in front of the Federal Building downtown to highlight the recent flood of news in the mainstream media about the pre-9.11 warnings of a possible attack that U.S. intelligence agencies and pResident Bush received from various sources, but which were not heeded for whatever reason. At last, Congresspeople on the Hill besides Cynthia McKinney are calling for an investigation. (I don't say, "have joined Cynthia McKinney in her call for an investigation, which she has been making for months" because that's not how they've been presenting themselves, or how the story has been covered in the media. Whitey stealing from a Black again.)
Though I believe that these recent revelations are merely the tip of the iceberg, and that the Bu$h administration's foreknowledge of 9.11 is not at all in doubt, I made a sign that fit within the constraints of the story as it currently stands in the mainstream media. It said: "9/11: Why did Bush ignore the warnings?" My comrade who made the call for today's rally held a sign that said, "Bush told of hijackers before Sept. 11". We stood out on the corner, up front, with these messages, which were not far out things to be saying today. Folks up in Congress are talking like this, and it was coming through in a lot of the news coverage this way.
I would like to point out that these messages are decidedly nonsectarian. That is, these concerns could as easily be expressed by "the Right" as by "the Left". It's not a "peacenik" message per se, and makes no commentary on the morality of the "war on terror" as a response. And honestly, considering the shivering temerity of the Left regarding questions of 9.11, these if-Bush-knew-then-why-did-it-happen? questions might find more of a home on the Right. That's our loss if we let that happen. These concerns are Truth and they belong to all of us, everywhere, no matter who we vote for or complain about or sleep with. We have an excellent opportunity here to take down and imprison a fascist president. But if we're going to do that, it can't be along partisan lines. We need to hold hands with the Republicans on this one. I mean, who wouldn't be upset to find out that the U.S. government allowed almost 3000 of its own citizens to die so brutally? This is an issue of nearly universal concern, folks.
The rally in Eugene today was made up entirely of folks from the peace movement, which was not surprising -- the notices were sent out through lefty listserves and posted to Indymedia and nowhere else. People made the peace sign at passing cars, and the Adbusters corporate flag was unfurled, which has definitely been a standard of the Left. Most of the people driving past seemed to think it was just another peace rally too, though that wasn't the intended message. I think that people in Eugene are used to seeing peace protests at that intersection and just assumed that that's what was going on. I suspect that most people didn't read the signs; they drove by too fast. Some of the negative comments called out from vehicles also suggested that their occupants were seeing just another peace rally. So, other tactics will have to be implemented, too, to reach more people.
At the end of this rally we planned a letter-signing campaign to execute over the weekend; we'll get a letter to our Congresspeople together and go out to Saturday Market and the Folk Festival to get signatures on it, and then send it early in the week. The letter will urge these elected officials to support an investigation into 9.11. When I go out looking for folks to sign this, I'm not going to ask them their political affiliation, and I won't care how they feel about any other issue. We need everybody on this one. This is much bigger than "left" or "right" or even "none of the above".
The fact that most of our other issues -- the environment, labor, corporate power, media access -- inhabit this same universal, nonpartisan territory is something else we've got to work on, when we educate others and when we educate ourselves. As long as we call ourselves "left" and "right" someone else will always be on top, squashing us all. Fuck that noise. We need TRUTH and we need it NOW.