I became an activist after seeing the film "JFK" and doing six months of research on the CIA and the press. Successful in public relations, I couldn't understand why the CIA's criminal activities, well documented, weren't common knowledge. Why weren’t they revealed on TV, radio, in newspapers? Then, I realized who owned them. So, I became a media activist, and promoted films like- Manufacturing Consent- Noam Chomsky and the Media, and did P.R. for the peace and justice movement. I helped found three non-profit organizations, including the International Media Project, which produces a weekly radio program called "Making Contact" to connect people, ideas, and important information. (Now heard on over 180 stations across the country). If the mainstream press wouldn't report on our issues, we felt we should become the media and do a better job.
Oddly enough, some of the issues I tackled were harder to break in the independent press than on the front pages of major newspapers. The independent press was very shy about tackling subjects like "monetary reform and local currencies," although gradually they have changed their tune. I organized conferences on "Strategies to Transform the Global Economy" and tried to mobilize people to the first World Social Forum. I protested NAFTA, the WTO, IMF, World Bank, and felt I was part of the global anti-corporate globalization movement.
When 9-11 happened, my affinity group and I had already bought airline tickets to protest the IMF, World Bank and the Bush policies in Washington, DC. The protests were cancelled, but we went to DC, anyway, to oppose an impending war on Afghanistan and I learned that the war had more to do with "oil" than fighting "terrorism." After many smoking gun e-mails, I began to seriously doubt the official story. It had all the fingerprints of a special operation. I organized a delegation of Human Rights and Peace organizations to rally, march, meet with our Senator's staff to Demand a Congressional Investigation of 9-11. That was when I felt betrayed by the "Global Justice Movement" who began attacking those of us who raised serious, challenging, questions about 9-11. There has been very little support in the so-called "Independent Media" to challenge the official story. I was particularly disappointed with Indymedia.org, which I rely upon daily, for my regular activism work; only Portland seemed to think that 9-11 was a valid issue.
Undaunted, I continued to organize at the grassroots level, making flyers, organizing events, rallies, film screenings. One flyer- the Deception Dollar, was so popular that donations for it helped fund our big 9-11 Truth events. I organized the San Francisco International Inquiry into 9-11 which got mainstream news coverage, forced a response from the White House, and drew together 30 documentary film makers together; we produced many television programs, radio programs, that were distributed nationally. At our first big 9-11 event in San Francisco, we had no organizational support. Now, when we have events, we get more support from peace and justice organizations, KPFA, and Project Censored. There is a growing 9-11 Truth Movement. Many of us went to St. Louis for the National Conference on Media Reform. Questioning 9-11 was a taboo topic at every plenary and formal session, but we passed out thousands of Deception Dollars and hundreds of David Ray Griffin's excellent talk (that was broadcasted on C-Span) entitled “The American Empire and 9-11” in DVD and CD format. We also had a lively session on "Overcoming Psychological Barriers to 9-11 Truth." It seems that 9-11 is such an enormous issue that many people can't look at the evidence, because it demands more of people than simply "What can I do?;" it forces people to ask themselves, "Who am I?"
Recently, besides doing a television interview, weekly street actions, tabling at events, editing our comedy benefit show "Behind Every Terrorist- There is a Bush" (to 58 minutes). I have been organizing a "9-11 Truth for Peace and Justice" Art Contest to help merge the Truth Movement with the Peace and Justice Movement. We have some great sponsors- including Project Censored - Peace Resource Project -
Media Education Foundation - Left Curve - Guns and Butter - Interlink Publishing - Ken Jenkins - Trine Day - New Society Publishers - ProgressivePress.com - HopeDance Magazine - globalresearch.ca - DeceptionDollar.com - CommunityCurrency.org -
Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance - 911 Truth.org - ny911truth.org -
Addicted to War.com - Skeptics Inquiry for Truth - 911 Visibilty Project -
oilempire.us - Global Outlook Magazine - digitalstyledesigns.com -
Janette MacKinlay - David Ray Griffin - T.U.C. Radio -
MUJCA-NET: Muslim Christian Jewish Alliance for 9/11 Truth.
We have had some difficulty getting entries posted on the Northern California 9-11 Truth Website, but some are finally up and I am frantically sending out press releases and posting articles (hoping to alert a few more people to sending in art before the deadline July 1st). Only just a few minutes ago, I discovered that my article "Artists Illuminate 9-11 Truth More than the Official Commission" has been hidden/disappeared from the NYC Indymedia website by Chris because "nice contest, but links to sites babbling about controlled demolitions, 'Israeli saboteurs,' etc." Is this responsible censorship? I don't think so.
We created the Deception Dollar to get around the Gatekeepers of information. However most Americans don't even know how bad the corporate press is. Penguin Books commissioned Deception Dollar artist, Blaine Machan, to do a special bill for Guerrilla News Network's excellent book- True Lies, which looks at the major issues that the press has not cast light upon. We decided to create a special Media Deception Dollar to educate the public about the press and the biggest lies of our times; they also promoted an excellent film- The Corporation (produced by a friend of mine, Mark Achbar) that shows how the courts have ruled that corporations have the right to lie to the public. We put links on the Media Deception Dollar to media outlets that were doing a good job in exposing 9-11 and other important issues. I included Portland's Indymedia in the first issue. Last December, in the wake of a blatantly stolen election, we produced an Election Deception Dollar and a new version of our Media Deception Dollar. San Francisco Indymedia is starting to do a better job of headlining our events, and I still passionately agree with most of the issues that Indymedia covers, and wish they were a better ally. Last December, I prominently included them on our Media Deception Dollar. I even met with Indymedia activists at the National Conference on Media Reform and they were encouraging, so I decided to become more involved with our local group. I consider Indymedia to be an ally in the struggle against corporations, militarism, imperialism, blatant government corruption, and the litany of related issues, so I was stunned by the NYC censorship.
Aung Sung Suu Kyi wrote: "It is not power that corrupts, but fear -- fear of losing power and fear of the scourge of those who wield it."
I hope those who are frightened by this issue, will find the courage to rationally look at the questions we have raised and the evidence that we have found. It's time for Americans to face their collective shadow, and hold their government responsible for its crimes against us and the world.
Entries for the Art Contest are at http://www.sf911truth.org/ArtContest/index.html
Blaine Machan, Deception Dollar Artist, will be a judge in the art contest, this work is meant to inspires others and won't be competing with entries in the art contest.