It wasn¹t the flashiest Truth action ever, nor did it make the evening
news, but 20 or more dedicated Boston911Truth activists hit the pavement at
Boston’s 4th of July Pops concert and fireworks display and accomplished something
just short of miraculous, for us anyway. Armed with only a smile, new Patriots
Question 911 postcards and WeAreChange informational flyers, our hearty "Info
Warriors" were able to distribute 7,000 pieces of literature at a rate
of 1,000 per hour for seven hours among the crowds lining the Charles River
waiting for the festivities to begin.
This was a unique experiment for us. Each year on the 4th, Boston’s Charles
River Esplanade attracts 500,000 people to listen to the Boston Pops and watch
the spectacular fireworks display. Our primary goal was to get as much solid
literature as we could into the hands of the captive audience who come hours
early to claim a good spot.
Two weeks prior, we ran a 48-hour email fund drive to raise the money to buy
10,000 pieces of literature. We hit our mark in less than 36 hours. We purchased
4,000 of the new PatriotsQuestion911 postcards created by 911Truth.org and 6,000
WeAreChange tri-fold flyers.
Our next strategy was to blend in with the crowd meeting them where they
are at, as opposed to creating some sort of scene to get noticed. We had virtually
no signs (though we did put up an ae911truth.org sign about half way through)
and most of us wore Red Sox apparel, t-shirts that just said "Boston,"
our local t-shirts with a red, white, and blue peace symbol or just a regular
top. No "Inside Job" and very little "Investigate 911" garb
could be found. We flew an American flag and the Flag of New England at our
home base. It’s become increasingly important for many of us to show the public
that we¹re normal people just like them, with real concerns about America.
We discouraged, almost forbid any confrontation. As one activist put it, "The
best line to use to get someone to take a handout was ‘How y’all doing today’
with a smile." We established a home base, which ironically was right
beside a State Police outpost. We passed out material to those who passed by
and complimented that with teams of two or three truthers each, who got out
there and worked the crowd on both sides of the river.
Beginning around 10:30 am, truthers went blanket to blanket among the early
arrivals and politely asked if they wanted something important to read while
they were sitting around waiting for the festivities to begin. We mapped out
the whole area carefully so that we wouldn’t hit the same area twice in a row
and bother people who had already been approached. Early in the day, almost
half of everyone we asked took our literature. We taped postcards inside the
"port-a-pottys," and on light posts.
The experiment was to see how well kindness and a smile would work. We were
totally confident in the materials produced by 911truth.org and WeAreChange
and we felt that the extremes of brash signage and slogans that mean little
to passers-by would detract rather than help our effort. And we were so right.
It literally brought tears to our eyes to see blanket after blanket with people
READING our handouts not just glancing at them, but actually reading them
all the way through. On a return trip to our home base to re-supply, it was
not unusual to be passed by people coming toward us carrying or reading our
handouts while walking, flanked on either side by people sitting quietly and
reading our message. At times it felt like the biggest 911 truth festival one
The police, National Guard and Park Rangers were great. We shared a spot with
the State Police and they left us completely alone. Early in the day two Park
Rangers came by and told us they got a littering complaint. We told them that
we would go clean up whatever people dropped, but they said "no worries"
and never bothered us with that again, because actually, we found very few on
the ground. But the Rangers did come back because one of them was really interested
in our message, and to the chagrin of his partner, lingered for about 20 minutes
to learn as much as he could.
Out of the thousands of people we approached and who took our handouts, the
number of people who challenged us or were angered could be counted on one hand.
Parents seeing us passing out literature sent their kids over to get one for
themselves. We had an encounter with the son of a Sept 11 first responder whose
dad was still sick and getting no help from the government a young student
pointed to us and with a smile screamed at his friends enthusiastically, "See,
that’s what I’m talking about" — and an older couple stopped a couple
of us to tell us of the great 911truth work being done in Spain. These are just
a few of the dozens of great encounters we had. And we learned a very important
lesson that being kind and respecting where people are coming from goes
a long way in getting people to listen.
The action did not go completely without a glitch, however. Toward the end
of the day, a couple of our more rambunctious WeAreChangers decided to crank
the volume up, so to speak, which got the immediate attention of the State Police.
To diffuse what up until then had been an incident-free public action that showed
amazing results, one of our organizers walked up to one of the officers to apologize
for the outburst. The officer thanked him for coming over, shook his hand and
said, "You guys give protesting a good name." This was an amazing
action for us and it was so easy to do.