How to start a local 9-11 visibility group
Are you already part of a local 9-11 action group?
If so, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can list your city and link to your website in our Local Groups section in the menu at the left. If you don't have your own website yet, ask us about hosting a free section for you on on septembereleventh.org.
Whether you already have a group formed, or are just now considering starting one up, this section has some great ideas and advice to help your group become more successful in raising public awareness around the unanswered questions of 9-11 and demanding full goverment disclosure and accountability.
There are basically four types of action your local group can take:
- Lobbying the 9-11 Commission and government representatives.
- Lobbying the media.
- Conducting public 9-11 educational or "visibility" events such as teach-ins, vigils, rallies, video-showings, etc.
- Organizing a 9-11 Visibility coalition with other local peace and justice groups in your area.
Lobbying the 9-11 commission and other government representatives
Citizen lobbying of both appointed and elected officials is a standard part of any organizing campaign, and is essential to a functioning democracy. Writing letters, making phone calls, and sending faxes and emails to the 9-11 Commission as well as representatives of the Congress and Senate are simple and effective ways to make your voice heard. While mainly an individual act, your local 9-11 group can hold letter-writing parties, organize "action alert" campaigns over the internet, distribute sample letters to others, and do other collective activities which make lobbying more fun and inspiring.
Copy and share with others the letters and emails that members of your group have written to government officials. This is a great way to show appreciation for the letter writer as well as inspire others!
You can also launch a campaign to get your local city or county council to pass a resolution demanding full, federal disclosure around 9-11. Often it is enough just to approach one or two progressive councilmembers with the idea. Other times you might need to start a petition drive, collecting signatures at local supermarkets and other public locations. A petition drive in itself is a great way to educate the public and build momentum for other local organizing efforts.
"We demand full disclosure and accountability from the White House, CIA, FAA and NORAD concerning the unprecedented intelligence and air defense failures before and during the September 11th terrorist attacks."
Lobbying the Media
The lack of mainstream media coverage of the Bush Administration's obstruction of the Congressional 9-11 Commission is both incredible and inexcusable. Part of our efforts must be directed towards pressuring the media to cover the story.
Here we provide you with an invaluable resource. The following is a list of email addresses of reporters and journalists of major media outlets around the US and the world. We collected these ourselves by meticulously searching the web and copying and pasting addresses into text files. Please only use these media email contacts for 9-11 truth issues. Also, if you use them often and a journalist writes back requesting that you remove him/her from your list, please do so. We only want to provide useful 9-11 information to reporters and editors who want it. Lastly, remember to be respectful and polite in all your correspondence with the media. Many journalists and reporters in the mainstream media want to report on this issue, but feel they can't. Our letters will be of to help them in their negotiations with their editorial boards.
Note: The emails provided in the link below are all publicly listed addresses from national and international media websites in the Fall of 2003. While you can expect some of them to be out of date, don't be dissuaded by bounce-backs. Most of them will still be getting through. Click here for the monster list.
"...it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams
Conducting Public Educational Events
Organizing a vigil
Vigils are a great way to raise group morale, educate the public and attract media attention. Check out our photo gallery to see pictures of what these vigils can look like.
The first step in organizing a vigil is to pick a date and location where you know a lot of people will see you, such as downtown street corners or busy intersections. It's also good to pick a location close to public parking, bathrooms and a place to buy food and drink (hot coffee is nice on a cold day). Once you have the date and location, the next steps are to:
- Create a short WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: WHY announcement and email it out to your local email list that you have been gathering. Urge local peace & justice groups to email it out to their lists as well. Also send it out to your local newspaper, TV news channel, radio station, local cable access "Community Events Calendar," and other local media sources that will announce it on-air or list it in their calendar. Keep in mind that many community radio and tv stations need two weeks notice for all public service announcements (PSAs), so plan ahead. And of course it is always a good idea to call them up and ask them how their PSA proces works.
You will find it much easier to enlist broad support if you avoid the temptation to say you know what really happened on and before 9-11. Stick to the general theme of "We Demand the Truth," "Stop the Lies," "Full Disclosure by the Bush Administration and others," etc.
- Get some volunteers to join you in a sign-making party. You can use large magic markers and write your signs, but even better is to use stencils and spray paint to make multiple signs quickly. You can also design posters on a computer and have them printed. (We have a great 11" x 17" Demand the Truth sign on our downloads page that you can use). Your local Kinkos will usually accept image files via email. Have them print the images on large, regular paper (some Kinkos can print as large as 4' x 5'!) and then spray glue them to cardboard. (Poster sized cardboard squares can usually be obtained free from your local grocery store--they typically come within shipping pallets and are called "slit covers" or "slip covers.)
About four days prior to your event, begin faxing and emailing press releases to your local media. Then fax them again two days before, and call them the day before. (If you're having your 9-11 Visibility vigil on a weekend, address your press releases with "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - WEEKEND DESK !!") Provide a short succinct explanation that you are coming out in support of the 9-11 victims' families' struggle for the truth about 9-11. Give the location, date, time, etc., and a clear map or directions to where the event will be. Always include a contact number & email address too (and don't forget to check it the day of the event.)
- Again, the day before your event, make a phone call inviting your local TV station, radio and newspaper to "send a reporter down to this important event in support of the 9-11 families' struggle to get the full truth about 9-11."
- If you do get coverage from your local paper or TV station, make sure to archive it. Have someone record it off the news, or if you missed it when it was aired, call the station and purchase the clips. Show the clips during your teach-ins and video presentations. (And if you know how to convert them into digital format, contact us and we'll post the video here on this website!)
Organizing teach-ins and video presentations
There are two ways to do this. The first and easiest is to do a 9-11presentation for an established local political, religious, or peace and justice group. They will typically promote the event through their own membership and contact lists (but ask them if you can promote it through your own lists as well), and will already have the venue confirmed.
The second is to organize your own event, which means your group has to do all the promotion for it. You can use many of the same promotional ideas in the above section on organizing vigils. But there are other things you can do too.e creative. For example, if you have enough funding consider creating radio ads and putting them on the air on local radio stations. This can usually be done for a very affordable price, ranging from $30 to $300 per 30 second spot. The radio stations will often design the ad for you if you provide text and directions for what you want in the ad. (Again, if you focus on demanding the truth for the 9-11 victims' families, urging the Bush Administration to stop obstructing and start cooperating with the 9-11 Commission, you'll have better luck getting airtime than if you make pointed accusations. Remember your audience!)
At your presentation you can screen the 9-11 documentary, The Great Deception, by acclaimed Canadian TV journalist Barry Zwicker. This documentary lays out a very coherent and convincing case that the official story of 9-11 is full of lies, and that the Bush Administration and other government agencies are engaged in a cover-up. We think it is the best 9-11 documentary to date for general audiences, and this is why we promote it so heavily on our site. You can follow it up with discussion. (Be sure the hall, theater, or classroom you are holding your event has a TV and VCR.)
In your discussion/presentation, steer clear of trying to prove specific 9-11 facts. Avoid situations where you come off as trying to convince people of "the truth". All that is necessary at this point is to demonstrate that the official story is full of holes, that the American people are being lied to, and that the Bush Administration is engaged in an on-going cover-up. If people try to pin you down and engage you in proving one thing or supposing another, don't fall for it. Simply state that the goal right now is to expose the cover-up and demand full disclosure and accountability by this government.
As always at your presentations get everyone's email addresses to add to your growing 9-11 action alert list. Don't send more than two or three emails per week to your list, though, or some people will unsubscribe themselves. (You can also forward them to us for national 9-11 bulletins.) Make sure everyone leaves with a flyer that has your local contact information as well as www.septembereleventh.org. You can find some ready-made flyers on our downloads page that leaves space for you to add your local contact information
Lastly, network, network, network. Make friends and keep in touch with other organizers (get their phone numbers!). Find out if they know other organizations, churches, schools, etc., that would be interested in hosting a 9-11 presentation.
Organizing a 9-11 Visibility Coalition
This section coming soon. Sorry it's not finished, but we wanted to launch the site ASAP. Check back in a few days. Thanks!