“Art to Activism”
Janette MacKinlay's talk with photos
Grand Lake Theater
February 23, 2006
Janette's accompanying Power Point Presentation (warning this is 6MB)
I wish I could tell you that you will be able to walk out of here this evening, knowing what really happened on September 11. I wish there were easy answers, but there aren’t.
I wish the subject matter wasn’t so disturbing, and then we all would be able to be objective. But the unfortunate reality is that it is complex and time consuming and requires that you examine multiple issues.
I’ve been coming to grips with these issues since 8:45 am September 11 when Flight 11 hit Tower One directly out the window of my New York art loft located directly across the street from the World Trade Center. It has been a journey of art and activism.
In a short 90 minutes I suddenly found myself part of history, as Tower One collapsed. Our windows burst by the debris traveling at 50 mph. Glass flew everywhere. It filled our loft and the whole building with dust and smoke. We made it to the back lobby only to watch in terror as a black cloud roared down the street hurling concrete dust, debris and steel beams.
Broken spooky window
Ten Seconds in September
We returned to get wet towels so we could breathe. Once we returned to the lobby the cloud had past. We stepped out into a completely altered reality. It was death and destruction. It was Ground Zero.
Janette w/towel (Alive to tell about it)
All That Remains
Shot of destruction - 041
So began my experience of being a survivor of 9/11.
Red Cross Disaster Relief Center
In Gratitude - 609
We initially stayed with friends, and later in a hotel provided by the Red Cross.
This gave me a chance to return to our apt. with a mandatory police escort to hand-carry items out of our loft. .
Morgue Police escort
Janette in apt.
The whole neighborhood was under martial law, or so it seemed with the military presence everywhere. That’s the first thing you would see when you came up from the subway.
Military at Subway
Military at O’Hara’s
Military at Ground Zero - 009
I wanted to save my country! I wanted to fight back! I wanted to join the ARMY! Saying that now, it seems funny and odd, but at the time I was dead serious. I was shocked at how violent and militant I had become!
Desire to Kill
Bin Laden In Sight
This event stirred deep feelings of patriotism, not just in me, but also in the whole country.
Flag at Ground Zero
Stars and Stripes
It is those same feelings of deep patriotism that brings me here this evening. I want to share my story of transformation, in hopes that you too, will be moved to act.
Even though I have a place in New York, Oakland is where my home is. After five weeks in New York I returned to Oakland to heal my wounded spirit.
I initially focused on art projects and my studies in Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging.
Book Cover – Fortunate
I was compelled to write my story in a book called, “Fortunate, A Personal Diary of 9/11” I wanted to write it all down, because I thought I would forget what had happened. Little did I know it would be with me every moment of my life.
I suffered Post Traumatic Stress, and to a lesser degree, I believe anyone who watched the “shock and awe” of airliners flying into buildings and building disappearing into dust before their eyes suffered post traumatic stress.
I believe that is one of the main reasons it has taken so long for the general population to examine these issues. It has taken years for people to come out of their state of shock and publicly examine and speak out regarding the discrepancies in the official story.
But I can see we as a country are now ready to hear the truth.
High Cost of Oil
I see 9/11 as a “wake-up” call. A call to wake up and look at what is happening with our foreign policy. On 9/11 I really didn’t have a clue why all is was taking place. As I recovered I joined the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and began attending their various political discussions.
In the summer of 2004 they sponsored an event for the release of the 9/11 Commission Report featuring two of the commissioners. Their presentation was quite unsettling in that they emphasized that there job was not to point fingers, rather to prevent future attacks. The answers to the audience questions were hidden behind a brick wall of classified documents, White House mandates, and national security concerns.
My anger at the obvious cover-up prompted me to speak with Carol Brouillet, who was outside the event with other activist from the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance passing out information that offered possible answers to the questions that haunted me.
New Pearl Harbor
She gave me the book, “The New Pearl Harbor”, by Dr. David Ray Griffin, which addresses “Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11.
You will be hearing Dr. Griffin speak tonight in the DVD entitled “Flights 11, 175, 77 and 93: The 9/11 Commission’s Incredible Tales”.
The DVD is produced by Ken Jenkins, long time member of the Northern California Truth Alliance and video producer of talks by Dr. Griffin.
View of Towers Before
I made the bold move last summer and began living bi-coastal again. I moved back to the scene of the crime, back into the same apt. I had been blasted out of on 9/11.
Prior to 9/ll The World Trade Center was always a hub of activity drawing thousands of people from around the world.
Crowds of people – 044
Even though the World Trade Center now only exists in memory, it still attracts thousands and thousands of people who visit the site each day to pay their respects and, like me, to try to come to grips with this horrific event.
What they see is just an extension of 9/11 itself. That day was gray on gray and that grayness is reflected in the lack of live and color at the site.
The Cross - 438
Bldg. Seven - 4468
There is constant controversy over every aspect of the rebuilding of the site. They still don’t know what is going to happen. One reason for this is that even though Building Seven has been rebuilt, they have not been able to get even one tenant to sign on. Bad Karma, I guess.
Take Back The Memorial Protest - 088
There are major disagreements concerning the Memorial itself and ongoing disagreements between the family members, the survivors, the mayor, and the governor, the New Jersey/New York Port Authority.
I watch it all unfold out my window.
Cops – long shot 021
Cops – up close 025
In case you were wondering where all those homeland security dollars are being spent I understand New York City spends $5 million per week in their “Operation Atlas” and “Hercules Teams”. The military presence has now been replaced by a police presence. I call it the “Police Parade”, with perhaps a hundred police cars lining the four-block parameter of the World Trade Center site. After the “Park on the Sidewalk” drill is over, they peel off one by one, lights on, sometimes with the sirens on. This procedure is repeated throughout the day and in other parts of New York as well, such as Time Square.
This is what they call a “terrorist drill”. I call it a “Terrorize US” drill.
Bomb Sniffing Robot – 100
Bomb sniffing robot - 103
On Saturday, Sept. 10 last year, when there were thousands of people at the site, they decided to have a “Bomb Threat” drill, which involved shutting down and clearing the entire neighborhood, screaming on loud megaphones to clear the area immediately. The area was then patrolled with a bomb-sniffing robot.
Never a dull moment, as I always say.
I am in Oakland for the winter, and felt compelled to “do something” to help educate people about the 9/ll issues that need to be brought into discussion in the mainstream media as well as with our Senators and Congresspeople.
I am very grateful to Allen Michaan for allowing me this opportunity to present my “Call To Activism” event.
I have assembled a “Question 9/11 folder”, which has contact information for our Senators, our Congresspeople, the local and national media, including newspaper, television, and radio. I have included sample letters.
My hope is that after this evening you will be inspired to “do something”, and do it now! Do it tomorrow, and each and every day, to let our voices be heard
I wanted to do something, and this is it.
Return to- Question 9-11- A Call to Action