February 2016 was the third year that an intrepid group of 9/11 activists set up their "WTC7 Awareness" information booth in the Oregon State Capitol Lobby. This event is a unique form of 9/11 outreach where the group is permitted to have an exclusive display area in the Capitol building's lobby. This Display area is very active during the Legislature's Session. This outreach is the result of the efforts by people in Oregon and organized in large part by Marvin Sandnes.
Marvin provided an observation of the event by saying “The ‘WTC7 Awareness’ display is ludicrously avoided by politicians and the media. We hire a musician to play a cello on the Capitol Entrance Steps next to a table and two 9-foot signs. The cello player is excellent and attracts attention and it is fun to watch the media get video of the musical performance while avoiding the 9–foot ‘Did You Know a 3rd Tower Fell on 9/11’ banner.”
The first year of doing “WTC7 Awareness Day” at Oregon's Capitol Building Lobby was 2015. For that event, Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) led a crew of volunteers. They passed out literature, distributed DVD's, gathered signatures on AE911Truth petition calling for a new investigation into the destruction of the World Trade Center and visited every legislator’s office and met with their staff. Later the next day the group rented Willamette University's Ford Theater for an evening presentation of Richard Gage's educational slide show that was open to the public. Marvin commented that, “Richard Gage reminded me of the ‘Energy Bunny’ – switch him on, and he goes like a machine for 16 hrs.”
The seeds of the 2015 ‘WTC-7 Awareness’ day was launched when Marvin decided to fly to Atlanta to help out AE911Truth with their outreach at the AIA convention and meet some fellow 9/11 activists. At the end of the proceedings Marvin asked Richard if the Portland group could use the 20-foot AE911Truth display at an event at Oregon's Capitol Bldg. Richard was enthusiastic and they not only got the display, but Richard joined them for the price of a plane ticket and a small honorarium. As in the past, the use of the AE911Truth booth enhanced this year’s outreach at the Capitol.
Marvin’s next steps include meeting with the new Mayor of Salem and one other City Councilor in March. They will be exploring a City Council Resolution to address one or both of the following issues: WTC7's investigation, or perhaps, Afghanistan and the opium production and the consequent heroin epidemic in Salem. Marvin indicated that they are also trying the same approach at Oregon House of Representatives. Marvin indicated support from at least two Legislators. Marvin opined about the value of the resolutions by saying, “These Resolutions are meaningless and are often passed as political favors to be cashed later on something meaningful. But, for our effort, the passing of a Resolution by any political body and the brief debate or Committee Hearing would be a huge boost.”
Marvin has also taken the "WTC7 Awareness" to his City Council meeting in Salem twice, and the Portland City Council, once.
Marvin’s 9/11 Journey
Marvin lost a son to a suicide, two weeks after 9/11. His son Erick was 20 at the time, and Marvin thinks the events of 9/11 had a profound effect among Erik and his friends. He observed that at 8 AM on 9/11 they were at the community college; skate boarding, pot smokers on their way to a fishing trip up the Santiam Canyon. At noon they were cast as draftees to fight a war in Asia.
At the 10th anniversary of that loss, and his annual grief process, he decided that he was strong enough to look at the events of 9/11, which he had completely ignored for 10 yrs. In a short time he had found David Chandler's analysis, AE911Truth, read David Ray Griffin, Michael Ruppert, Chalmers Johnson's "The Sorrows of Empire", Paul Thompson's "Terror Timeline" (the bible for research, see also - Complete 911 Timeline), L. Fletcher Prouty's "The Secret Team" and "JFK," Quigley's "Tragedy and Hope,” see also, "Tragedy & Hope," and a couple dozen more, in addition to hundreds of you tube videos.
By the spring of 2012, after months of research, he was convinced of the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 and began to explore what to do: He became a $25 a month donor to AE911Truth, set up a table at our Farmers' Saturday Market, and filed to run for the US House to create a platform to talk about 9/11.
He began to notice how few activists there were who were talking about 9/11 and America's foreign policy. He quickly learned the topic is a taboo subject and any mention of it must be in a venue where people are open to discussion of difficult subjects such as political gatherings, free speech areas at Farmers' Markets, sidewalk activist areas, and political campaigns. During his political campaign he emailed David Chandler frequently asking him to review the things he was saying and writing. (David Chandler moved to our area in Oregon a few months after the campaign. Later that year, Marvin met Richard Gage at an event at Portland Community College.
Marvin ran for the US House, again, in 2014, and found the topic of 9/11 met with abject resistance by all. According to Marvin, “The audience for our message is tiny; our fellow activists are spread all over the U.S. I tried to find allies in the anti-war movement (which is quite active in Oregon) to find some re-enforcement for what I was trying to do – to raise awareness of WTC7 and was shunned by them and all flavors of political parties.”
The real energizer bunny, Marvin, also does a weekly appearance at the Saturday Farmers Market setting up a table with brochures and the 9/11 TAP Petition. Marvin explains, “There have been complaints and I've been approached by police twice. However, they allow the placement. I also display the sign at the I-5 overpass near my neighborhood.”
He also sets up a 9 foot banner on a parkway every Saturday for a couple hours. According to Marvin, “Those signs have become something of a Saturday landmark.”
For the fourth year in a row, on March 3rd, 4th and 5th the Oregon group will have a display booth at Oregon's Dorchester Conference. According to Marvin, “The Republicans welcome us with open arms. This year we doing a double booth for $350 and using the 2015 AIA display.”
Marvin’s Message and Perspective
Marvin’s message and activism is consistent with the 9/11 TAP mission statement which includes, “... expose the truths of 9/11 and create a groundswell of civic support that achieves transparency and accountability for the crimes of 9/11, justice for its victims, an end to unwarranted U. S. military actions ...” He says, “I've gained a certain respect in my community with this activism. I ran again in 2016 as the Green Party Candidate and focused on the Afghanistan opium, heroin epidemic (Salem has 1,000 public school kids homeless this morning - a direct result of the cost and supply of heroin: $400 a gram in 2001, $175/8-ball, $50 a gram, today). We are now in our 16th year of war with the planet's fifth poorest country – and the events of 9/11 were the beginning of our wars that brought about these dire consequences.”
Marvin continues explaining the impact his activism on the local community, “At three different candidate forums and a candidate debate I've been allowed a TV monitor showing a ‘WTC7 Compilation for Tabling.’ This format is unusual - but the people at our City Club, the local League of Women Voters, our City Hall administrators have become sympathetic with my message and are bending a little to allow my message to get out, they know the media is intentionally avoiding this subject.”
He concludes by saying, “Progress is almost imperceptible. We are gaining.”