We gathered at the EMU building's bowl on the University campus at 4:30 for a rally and march to expose the "LIES" of 9.11 and call for an investigation. People had a lot of different signs, most made from flattened corrugated boxes. We had a megaphone to attract attention, and passed it around. Students gathered at the edge of the bowl or paused for a few minutes on their way here and there. We used quarter-sheet flyers that one of the organizers had been posted to portland indymedia to hand out to people, who were receptive to the message. Only one person loudly naysayed the gathering, in contrast to previous gatherings there on the subject of Peace. One woman who was just biking by stopped and joined the rally and march. Altogether, twelve people participated, up from five the week before and nine the week before that. This was the third consecutive Friday rally in a row in Eugene called in the cause of demanding a 9.11 investigation.
What would a "9.11 investigation" look like? Many activists have expressed doubt that Congress would do a good job, and that it would just turn into a "whitewash". That's certainly a strong possibility, given history. One activist at Friday's rally was calling for a public "People's Investigation" instead. To some degree such an investigation is already underway since so many people are asking questions, uncovering documents, and trying to find the truth. In another sense, events like this are an investigation, since they are exposing under-reported facts and stories and attempting to disseminate them to the public. And much of the public seems hungry for the information. This Tuesday, June 4, at 7:00 p.m., students will be showing Mike Ruppert's "The Truth and Lies of 9/11" video on campus again. The last campus showing, on May 23, brought in 150-200 people.
There were a couple men with Jesus-themed signs on the edge of the bowl. This one came down and talked to us for awhile. There was some common ground with him. He said that before 9.11, the majority of Americans were against a National ID Card, but that since then, the numbers have "flipped" and now a majority is for them. He felt that God would punish Bush and others for their sins. Philosophically, there was not complete agreement with him, no surprisingly; I personally ascribe this to the limitations of the vocabulary and worldview that he and the activists respectively employed. Both outlooks contain some exclusivity that prevents the discovery of more common ground. On the other hand, he recognized that both he and the activists were "preachers" -- just with different messages. I was glad that the interchange didn't turn into a shouting match as it often does. I think we should be trying to find as much common ground as possible with as many people as possible. The demand for answers to 9.11 isn't about Right or Left or Religion or Politics -- it's about Truth.
At a little after 5:00 we marched to the Federal Building. We went down 13th and then up Pearl, handing out flyers to many people along the way: students, construction workers, cafe-patrons, shoppers, and anyone we saw. Again, the reception was mostly positive. Typical responses: "As soon as it happened, I knew they knew something", "Yeah, I think Bush knew", and "Thanks for being out here". A couple of different folks walked along with us for a few blocks, talking about the issues.
Lots of people honked and waved. People on the street were very receptive as well.
At the Federal Building, we spread out onto all four corners with signs and flyers.
The megaphone wasn't as effective here, since the noise of traffic is so loud.
We handed out more flyers, mostly to car drivers, as there is little pedestrian traffic in downtown Eugene.
Then, two motorcycle cops pulled up into the parking lane and pulled two of the students aside. They kept everyone else back from them, just far enough so we couldn't hear what was being said. They held them their on the sidewalk, talking to them, for a little over ten minutes, though it seemed much longer. Both women were given traffic citations for "Improper position upon a roadway" and fined $89. The officers felt that Ordinance 84.070 forbids handing flyers to drivers stopped at traffic signals if you have to step out into the street for the exchange. The students didn't stop handing out flyers after this, but they didn't go into the street again.
This man was not cited, even though he was doing the same thing. "I'm just giving you a warning, not a citation," the officer told him. Does anyone know if this is bona-fide "selective enforcement"? If so, then maybe we can get the two women's citations dropped.
After more than an hour at the Federal Building, the rally ended. Almost all of the 200 flyers had been distributed, and hundreds of people had been exposed to a public demand for an investigation into 9.11. I definitely felt like the event was a success.
There will be another march and rally, next Friday, June 7. The starting point will once more be the EMU building at 4:30 p.m.