|AE911Truth Activists Show Resolve at Netroots Conference: “Let the Architects In” Campaign Makes an Impact|
|Written by Wayne Coste, P.E.|
|Wednesday, 22 August 2012 13:35|
As supporters of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth try to expand the reach of its message, we encounter barriers that make this difficult. One response to this is to find other strategies for outreach.
One of the emerging strategies is to attend various conventions in an attempt to educate activists for other causes about what really happened to the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7. Following our outreach to the United National Anti-War Conference, AE911Truth activists requested an exhibit booth at the Netroots Nation convention in Providence, RI.
Netroots Nation comprises bloggers, activists and grassroots media and describes itself as a “big political family” whose tent is broad. According to its website, “we all can agree that America has gone off the rails and it’s time to get back on track with policy that is fair and just for everyone.” Despite this proclamation, our request for an exhibit booth at the event was denied with the following explanation:
“I'm really sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we can't have you exhibit at Netroots Nation. When I passed this through our political channels they vetoed it. So sorry you won't be able to join us in the Hall.”
To ensure that there was no miscommunication, we sent a letter describing who we are and stating that our mission is similar to theirs. We asked for a reconsideration of their decision, stating that they should let AE911Truth into the exhibition hall so that we can talk about science and engineering. With no response to this request, the next step was to communicate with the Netroots Nation Board of Directors. Unfortunately, there was no response from them either. It appears they hoped we would just “go away.”
As a third step in the continuing strategy to secure an exhibit booth, local AE911truth supporters developed a web page that publicized our request at Let-The-Architects-In.org. We showed the NetRoots Nation Board our resolve by sending them a preview of the website we had prepared. Again, no response was received.
This website explains the request for an exhibit booth and describes the origins of Netroots Nation as a spin-off of the DailyKos, a popular progressive blog. The DailyKos established an official policy of censorship regarding 9/11 in 2005 when they specifically prohibited and deleted discussion of the evidence about the attacks on the World Trade Center. They explain this policy in a section entitled “Controversial Diary Topics”:
“Repeat offenders can and will be banned. Yes, this does include ‘controlled demolition’ of WTC 7.”
Controversial 9/11 Diaries
DailyKos accepts that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by agents of Al-Qaeda. It is forbidden to write diaries that:
2.refer to claims that the airplanes that crashed into the WTC and Pentagon were not the cause of the damage to those buildings or their subsequent collapse.
Authoring or recommending these diaries may result in banning from Daily Kos.
They justify this policy by declaring, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” I agree with this statement, but now the extraordinary evidence has been assembled by technical experts and is backed by over 1700 architects and engineers. It is time to acknowledge it, talk about it, and act upon it.
Netroots Nation, having such close links with the DailyKos blog, has undoubtedly adopted this unconscionable policy. In, response, we put an outreach plan into place to reach out to the attendees directly. The outreach plan had a number of interrelated pieces that culminated in the Providence screening of 9/11: Explosive Evidence –Experts Speak Out, which Richard Gage, AIA attended. Our efforts included:
The full-color flyers that were selected for distribution were quarter-page, double-sided. On one side was a reduced-size version of the Experts Speak Out premiere poster and the on other side was an appeal to “let the architects in” with the following list of actions people could take to help:
To begin this process, the space in the exhibit hall needed to be requested. Then, because it was turned down, this refusal could be turned into an outreach effort that would raise eyebrows and lead to responses like, “Really, they didn’t let you in? That’s not right!”
The information tent, which was set up outside the convention center, was vital to the outreach and helped us inform people about the issues regarding the WTC catastrophe and the evidence for controlled demolition that has been presented by AE911Truth. The fact that the weekend was to be capped with a premiere screening by Gage, who is also the director of Experts Speak Out, added to the stature of the event.
The opening event of Netroots was a reception in the convention center’s Rotunda. We placed some flyers on the reception tables, and I introduced myself to a number of people. One attendee said he was an AIA Fellow from Phoenix and knew of Richard Gage, but still believed the official story because “the buildings were flimsy and collapsed exactly as I expected them to after the damage they received.” After a few minutes of discussing the stark differences between gravitational collapse and controlled demolition with him, I moved on.
A short while later, I noticed Adam Bodin, a Netroots Board member, in the hallway. As I approached and said hello, he saw my name tag with my affiliation, and snapped, “I know who you are! I have nothing to say to you!” He then turned and walked away quickly. I would have expected a civil discussion, but from this reaction, it was clear that he was aware of, and opposed to, our request for an exhibit booth.
The next day, AE911Truth Public Outreach team leader David Slesinger and I handed out flyers inside and outside of the convention center. I also took trips around the convention center on a bicycle, pulling a sign that resembled the flyer. On one side of the sign was a poster for Experts Speak Out and the other side had the “Let the Architects In” message.
Over the course of the next two days, the information tent was busy. We handed out flyers and carried on many conversations with passersby, which included many Netroots Nation attendees.
Because Providence does not have an AE911Truth Action Group, we relied on the assistance of other AE911Truth activists from neighboring Connecticut and some supporters from Occupy Providence. One of the “occupiers” was a young man named ‘Rose’ who as of Thursday was four days into a hunger strike for 9/11 Truth. He continued until Sunday for a total of 7 days and expects to do a longer hunger strike around the 11th anniversary of 9/11 in September.
According to the activists at the information booth, many local residents were quite aware that the WTC skyscrapers were brought down by controlled demolition. The attendees from Netroots Nation seemed less aware of the events at the World Trade Center and some were resistant to the AE911Truth information. It appears that they believed that their progressive media would have clued them into this information if it were true. However, they were almost universally very supportive of our request to be included in the exhibit hall and appeared generally surprised that we were not allowed in.
On Sunday, only a few of the Netroots attendees came to the premiere screening of Experts Speak Out. The ROOTS Café was a wonderful venue, but the audience was sparse in comparison to what we had hoped for after all of our outreach and positive feedback. Apparently the Netroots attendees had either left or were packing, and the premiere did not make it into their schedules.
The Netroots Nation event was a unique opportunity to approach the progressive media and get our information out to them. From our perspective, this was successful with a series of coordinated actions and events that flowed together. How this will translate into better reporting and blogging about the truth of 9/11 remains to be seen.
The only downside could be that the Netroots Nation’s continuing refusal to “let the architects in” validates, supports, and normalizes others who would also refuse to let the truth in. However, Gage informed us later that our efforts led to positive results at the screening of Experts Speak Out in Burlington, Vermont, a few days later:
Two people came from Providence, RI, for the event. They had attended the Netroots conference in Providence, and they knew that AE911Truth had been excluded from the conference. They wanted to learn about the 9/11 evidence, so they drove all the way from Providence to attend the Burlington premiere!
We hope that these outreach opportunities encourage others to take a public stand for the truth and bring light to this important issue in their own communities.