On a remarkably mild Sunday in early March, Union Square Park was crowded with New Yorkers bursting out their winter cocoons. Skateboarders rolled and bumped down the wide stone steps, occasionally separating from their boards as they became airborne. The artists were out too, with their paintings and crafts displayed on folding tables along with Native American t-shirt hawkers selling shirts in a variety of colors from black to tie dyed pink that read: "Homeland Security Fighting Terrorism Since 1492." www.westwindworld.com
A chatty and intense 50-something woman approached me as I sat on one of the steps crocheting an afgan for my granddaughter. We talked knitting and crocheting and then a demonstration broke out a few feet away from us. She said she once asked a rabbi why the Jews support George Bush.
"We need him, for Israel," the rabbi told her. "You have koshered a pig," was her response to him.
The peaceful Sunday afternoon became charged with hyper energy as two young people unfurled a banner, approximately ten feet long, and began speaking about 9/11. To quote from one leaflet:
"Why is revealing the truth of 9/11 so important? Because this administration has used 9/11 as a pretext to launch 2 wars, undermine civil liberties, create an Orwellian surveillance "police state", and keep the American people in a state of panic so the military contractors can loot our treasury. Becoming aware of this information now requires action. We can't wait decades for the truth. We urge you to investigate further. Read "The New Pearl Harbor" by theologian David Ray Griffin. Read these recommended web sites: www.911truth.org; www.st911.org; www.911proof.com; www.wtc7.net; www.911busters.com.
For info on The 9/11 Info Resource Series on Sundays, get details at: www.ny911truth.org.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has a 470 page report on what led to the collapse of two WTC towers that you can download at http://wtc.nist.gov/
There are questions unanswered they assert, and to quote from some of the leaflets the activists handed out:
"The building came down so orderly, floor by floor, that I presumed it was a controlled demolition." Beth Fertig, WNYC Radio
"There was an explosion...the base of the building shook...the second explosion happened and then there was a series of explosions." -Steve Evans, BBC TV
"I was hearing a noise and looking up. The lowest floor of fire in the south tower actually looked like someone had planted explosives around it because everything blew out on the one floor. I thought, geez, this looks like an explosion up there." Brian Curran, Battalian Chief.
"Many other firemen knew there were bombs...but they are afraid for their jobs to admit it because the higher ups forbid discussion of this fact...There were definitely bombs in those buildings."--Paul Isaac, Jr, Auxiliary Fire Lieutenant.
A heckler kept asking why no "reputable" media had reported (the questions raised by the activists.) For a few tense minutes, a shouting match escalated between the heckler, who smelled slightly of alcohol, and the passionate young woman holding one end of the 9/11 Truth banner.
Then, as suddenly as it began, the demonstration ceased, and by late afternoon calm had returned to the park. A lone singer/guitar player stood in the spot that had been crowded only minutes before. She struggled bravely to be heard over the traffic noises, but not for long. A New York City cop told her she had to move on. A female voice from the crowd called out: "Leave her alone; let her stay," but to no avail. The singer packed up her guitar and disappeared into the crowd.
On the L train, two Latino guys did a magic show, pulling a rabbit out of an apparently empty green holographic box, and other stunts that made the otherwise dour subway train riders laugh out loud.
Then there was the guy in the 8th Avenue subway station, playing a guitar while singing the song about the cotton fields back home. I had to laugh at this one, remembering a co-worker who used to sing that song when our boss got overbearing. I gave the man a dollah.
On an uptown train, a young guy who said his name is "Swiss Cheese" spoke eloquently to the subway riders, asking for donations so he could travel abroad this summer. His rap was so seamless and articulate he might have rehearsed it beforehand.
This is the Eight Ring Circus that is New York City. Always expect the unexpected. You'll be thrilled, you'll be amused, you'll be aggravated, you'll be shocked, you'll be exhausted; but one thing New York City promises and delivers: you'll never be bored here.