Most people came to downtown New York City Sunday morning in order to remember the victims and first responders of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
But several blocks away from ground zero, a group of nearly 100 people came to rally to question the U.S. government's and media's explanation of the events of 10 years ago. The rally-goers ranged from people who were skeptical of the U.S. government's version of the Sept. 11 attacks to others who were convinced that the U.S. was actively involved in the plotting. A majority of the people were affiliated with a group called We Are Change.
According to the group's mission statement, they seek an uncompromising and independent investigation into the crimes of September 11. We support the victim's family members who want subpoena power granted to obtain a long-overdue resolution for the survivors and families of the deceased. We reject the official explanation of the events leading up to, during and after the attacks of September 11th, 2001 as well as the fear-based politics and state mandated propaganda being disseminated by the corporate media which have facilitated the cover-up of 9-11.
Many of the rally-goers pointed to the collapse of 7 World Trade Center as evidence that the United States government may have covered up the attacks. No plane had flown into that building, but investigations have concluded that the building collapsed because of debris and fires that broke out because of the debris.
Many at the rally held up signs which said Investigate 9/11, but others held signs that were more explicit in their link between 9/11 and the United States.
Asserts Cheney Ordered 9/11 Attack
Steve Ekberg protested since Saturday, calling 9/11 definitely an inside job. He claims that then Vice-President Dick Cheney was in a bunker and called for the planes to hit the Pentagon, since according to Ekberg, Cheney was a psychopath. He believes Cheney wanted to find a good reason to go to war in Iraq and to enact crackdowns on civil liberties.
To support his claims, Ekberg points to testimony by then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to, saying that Dick Cheney ordered the plane to go into the Pentagon as it was approaching.
In his testimony to the 9/11, Mineta recalls a young officer coming to Cheney warning him of an approaching plane. Here is a piece of the 9/11 commission report Ekberg refers to:
The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out. And when it got down to, The plane is 10 miles out, the young man also said to the vice president, Do the orders still stand? And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?
However, Cheney was ordering the plane to be shot down, according to both Mineta and the commission report.
He said there were people that would heckle him when he came out to protest, yet he was undeterred by their responses, calling them brainwashed sheep, pointing to a large crowd across the street leaving the memorial ceremony. He claimed that polls say that American's now believe that 9/11 was an inside job by the American government, although he declined to say which specific polls.
Some people even traveled overseas to spread their message. Matt Cunningham, for example, came in all the way from Australia to support claims that the plot was brought on by the banking elite to bring in a police state.
Asserts Collape of 7 World Trade Center as Proof of Cover-up
Like others, Cunningham pointed to the 7 World Trade Center building as reason that the federal government likely covered up the events.
This was coordinated by the 9/11 commission, and by the U.S. and British governments he said, referring to Building 7 but declining to give more specifics.
Twenty-seven year old Mike Battis of New York said that New York City should conduct its own internal investigation, comprised of council members, judges and members of the state legislature. He believes that local officials tend to be more responsive of community needs.
Battis came with a few friends to the memorial, something he does annually. Battis said that some of the people protesting with him are crazy and extreme, and said he thought the people on the megaphone yelling that 9/11 was an inside job distracted from the message of trying to provide different opinions.
We only hear the corporate media's version of events, Battis said. I'm here to let people know that there is dissent.
As people were exiting the memorial ceremony, most people ignored the rally, and some people sneered and balked. Although a few shouting matches ensued between the groups, no violence appeared to break out.
Anne Koester, 26, from Berlin, Germany, said she did not agree with the points of view at the rally, but thought they were brave to express their views.
It is very interesting seeing people use their freedom of speech to say what they think about [9/11], Koester said.