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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

9/11 Outreach at the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Conference

Educating the Anti-War Activists

Written by Wayne Coste

At the 2012 United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Conference in Stamford, CT, 9/11 Truth was very visible. The 9/11 outreach made a significant impact with many of the attendees and helped bring 9/11 Truth into many discussions at this influential event. Many of us have seen an increased receptiveness of 9/11 Truth in the anti-war movements. The political calculus of the leadership, however, tries to stop the wars without acknowledging the most powerful tool to stop them: that 9/11 is the roots of U.S. warfare since 2001, and that the events of 9/11 bear the hallmarks of a fraudulent story that cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny of evidence. At the upcoming UNAC conference, members of the 9/11 Truth movement will once again attempt to educate the anti-war Left.

The 2015 UNAC will be held outside New York City in Secaucus, NJ, May 8-10 to discuss and debate the state of the world and the state of the wars. The UNAC call for the 2015 conference is:

The world is being ravaged by endless U.S. wars, both open and secret; life-threatening global warming and environmental destruction; devastating poverty and disease. Here at home we face unprecedented attacks on labor, immigrants, the poor and oppressed; a massive and racist prison-industrial complex; the increasing militarization of the police and an epidemic of police abuse as in Ferguson, Mo.; widespread domestic spying and an expanding "national security state"; trillions of dollars spent on the military to police the world and bail out the corporate 1 percent while we face severe attacks on the basic necessities of life. It's time for a massive, united and independent response!

Two items:

  • While the conference is relatively inexpensive, a 20% discount on registrations has been extended through April 8!
  • If you believe that 9/11 Truth Outreach is important, please help support our presence by donating. In addition to an information table, we would like to purchase an ad in the UNAC program book.

A Review of the 2012 UNAC Conference

The UNAC event, held in Stamford March 23–25 (2012), was the largest of the four national UNAC conferences held to date, drawing around 600 attendees. Almost two dozen 9/11 Truth activists participated in outreach activities. Our presence was known and felt by all. Interactions between UNAC guests and 9/11 Truth supporters were overwhelmingly positive throughout the conference. Many in-depth conversations took place and innumerable pieces of literature were distributed, including AE911Truth's WTC evidence cards and their 9/11 Investigator broadsheet newspaper. We also handed out dozens of copies of 9/11: Blueprint for Truth. As with many established anti-war organizations, most of the UNAC leaders resisted our message even though it proved to be widely accepted by UNAC's rank and file among others.

The issue is not whether the UNAC leadership agrees or disagrees with the evidence of government lies about 9/11. The issue is that the UNAC leadership refuses to allow discussion of the evidence. In a bid for democratic fairness and free speech, 9/11 Truth Outreach - as a voice for the 9/11 Truth aware members of the anti-war movement, contends that the UNAC conference must allocate some time for a real debate on the importance of 9/11 during a plenary session—and not relegate 9/11 issues to resolutions that are voted on by the attendees without any context. The UNAC leadership can still refuse to endorse 9/11 Truth and focus their efforts on "stopping wars." But, ignoring the factors that provide the tacit support for these wars (e.g. 9/11) by a bewildered and misled public creates a great risk to the credibility of an important anti-war organization.

Screening of "9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out"

experts speak out at aia boardroom"9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out" was visible through the open boardroom doorway

The Hartford AE911Truth Action Group's efforts formed the core of the outreach project. Its table, filled with AE911Truth materials, was staffed throughout the weekend. Coste decided to make an impact by renting "The Board Room" toward the rear of the exhibitor / vendor area. This location provided attendees with an excellent opportunity to view the 9/11 Truth exhibits as they passed from the plenary session to the event workshops.

Once the exhibit was visible, the UNAC Coordinating Committee asked us to take down our materials and leave, but since Coste had a contract with the hotel for The Board Room and the space in front of it, he stood his ground. "Packing up and leaving was not an option," he explained.

The space outside The Board Room was highlighted by AE911Truth banners, which featured compelling 9/11 evidence, and a pair of architecturally accurate 3-D printed models of the WTC complex, both before and after the three towers' destruction. There was also a continuously playing six-minute video loop that described key pieces of WTC evidence. At least one of the Action Group members was always present to talk to people and answer questions.

The pre-release version of AE911Truth's newest documentary, "9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out," was playing continuously on a giant screen in the room, and the video could be seen by those passing in the hall. At least 25 people saw significant segments of Experts Speak Out, and there were many in-depth conversations about the 9/11 evidence.

On Sunday, a bus arrived from New York City with members of the Muslim anti-war community. Many of them watched the movie, and three young women joined our mailing list.

wayne coste points to where wtc1 2 once stoodPointing to a scale model of Manhattan, AE911Truth team leader Wayne Coste indicates where the Twin Towers once stood

9/11 Knowledge and Opinion Survey

Another activity planned by the Action Group for this event was a survey to see what the attendees knew about the facts surrounding the destruction of the World Trade Center skyscrapers. Our hope was that this poll would help us better understand the strategic issues related to the interaction of 9/11 Truth and the anti-war movement. Sixty-five attendees responded, and the key survey results are as follows:

  1. Many of the respondents were unaware of basic facts regarding the WTC catastrophe. When asked about specific major points of evidence, 35–45 percent of the respondents were uncertain or did not respond, but only a very small percentage disagreed with the evidence presented by AE911Truth.
  2. About 90 percent of the respondents agreed with the statement that "the true story of what happened on 9/11 is relevant to today's anti-war movement."
  3. About 90 percent of the respondents disagreed with the statement that "9/11 was a long time ago and it no longer has any influence over today's political environment."
  4. Half of the respondents did not think that discussing the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers by means of a controlled demolition detracted from other pressing issues. One quarter were unsure, and one quarter thought that the discussion would detract from other anti-war issues.
  5. Two-thirds of the respondents believed that the criminal acts of 9/11 were perpetrated by more than just the Islamic fundamentalists blamed by the official story, a quarter were uncertain, and a small segment agreed with the official indictment of Islamic fundamentalists as the only criminals.

These results suggest that an emphasis on outreach is necessary and can be very effective—even for politically-aware audiences. The attendees at this event were well informed on many issues, but had not previously received correct information about the facts of what happened at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The full breakdown of the survey results will be published in the near future.

Plenary Session Resolutions

3d printed models of wtcThe architecturally-correct 3-D printed models of the World Trade Center were the central attraction of the display

Several 9/11 Truth-related proposals were submitted to the Plenary Session for discussion. One motion came from Peter Phillips, formerly of Project Censored, which called for an end to UNAC Censorship. His motion mentioned the existence of State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs). This had been proposed at the 2010 Albany UNAC conference, but it was never taken to the floor for a vote. Although the organizers in Stamford let it be introduced there, it eventually was voted down by a ratio of about 2 to 1.

Three other resolutions related to 9/11 were consolidated and slated by the chair for simultaneous discussion. At one point, Stan Heller, a member of the Middle East Crisis Committee, went to the microphone and said "9/11 [Truth] is a waste of time – because we have wars to stop!" After the allotted time for discussion, these resolutions also were voted down.

On Sunday, the resolution developed and submitted by the AE911Truth Action Groups in attendance was allowed to come up for discussion and voting. As the resolution's author approached the microphone and identified himself, a motion to table was brought forward from the floor. The motion to table was passed by a majority vote, ending all official discussion of the resolution. A related resolution, submitted by Jews and Muslims Asking for a Credible Scientific Investigation of 9/11, met the same fate.

UNAG Logo Old Round

Concluding Observations

As the 2012 Stamford conference wound to a close, we reflected upon what we had observed at the event and the lessons for 9/11 Truth activism we thought should be taken from it.

UNAC is focused on many important issues related to war, peace, and economic justice. It is also very much wedded to an ideology that does not welcome activist groups who represent other parts of the political spectrum. In contrast, the volunteers and supporters at 9/11 Truth share a variety of political beliefs which they set aside to work together toward the non-partisan objective of obtaining a new, independent 9/11 investigation.

As long as UNAC continues to forbid a genuine debate about 9/11, including its pivotal role in American warmongering, UNAC is not only patronizing and muffling its membership, but it is disingenuously serving as a gatekeeper to the very authority establishment it purports to oppose.

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