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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Anti-War
Satyagraha - Truth Force September 11, 2010
A short overview of the history of September 11th, the birth of Gandhi's Satyagraha, where the pursuit of truth exists and grows today. A look at the events that will take place on the anniversary in the Bay Area.
The roots of social change and non-violent direct action are deep and well nourished in San Francisco, the City of Love, where the 9/th Annual 9/11 Truth Rally will begin at 10 am in the Panhandle at Ashbury on Saturday, September 11. The rally will be followed by a parade at 11 am to the 12th Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival. After the festival at 6 pm there will be poetry and music at the Gandhi Statue, at the foot of Market Street behind the San Francisco Ferry Building, to take back 9/11 as “a worldwide celebration of peace and love,” instead of endless American war readiness… Also on September 11th the 6th Annual 9/11 Truth Film Festival will run from the afternoon to through the evening in San Francisco and San Leandro, with filmmakers and speakers, premiering Hypothesis and War Promises, and including Satyagraha One Hundred Years of Nonviolence.
Satyagraha - Truth Force was born when people gathered together, in their struggle against empire and racism in South Africa. On September 11, 1906, at a public meeting attended by 3000 people where Gandhi spoke, Sheth haji Habib, an old Muslim resident of South Africa, was inspired to consciously speak out and state his decision to act in defiance of an unjust law that targeted the Indian population of South Africa. Habib declared his willingness to suffer the consequences in a spiritually-endowed fight for justice in the name of God. The theory of satyagraha sees means and ends as inseparable. The means used to obtain an end are wrapped up in and attached to that end. Therefore, it is contradictory to try to use unjust means to obtain justice or to try to use violence to obtain peace. Satyagraha is a synthesis of the Sanskrit words satya (meaning "truth") and Agraha ("pursuit of"). Gandhi believed that life itself is a pursuit of truth. For Gandhi, satyagraha became strength in practicing non-violent methods, or in his words "the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence." Martin Luther King Jr. defined it as "Love in Action."
The promises of endless war, the impoverishment of the many, the destruction of the environment, the enthronement of corporations, the denial of basic human rights, the criminalization of the highest levels of government—all have evoked outrage from global civil society.
The magnitude of the state crimes against democracy are becoming more obvious to the general population, prompting widespread opposition, organizing efforts, and non-cooperation as a way to rein in a global pathocracy. Citizens’ grassroots attempts to exercise control over their lives, their health, their land, their homes, their food, their jobs, their air, their water, their education, their sources of information, and their elected representatives are increasingly thwarted by new laws, rules, and bureaucracies lacking accountability and transparency and located at greater and greater distances from where people actually live.
Resonating with the wisdom of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez, more and more people are recognizing that they must “be the change that they wish to see,” that “silence is betrayal,” that “the personal is political,” that “people have the power,” that “there have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall,” and that “to tell the truth in a time of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” When the laws defend murder, violence, and theft, it is time to change the laws. When leaders justify murder, violence, and theft, it is time to change the leaders. Only organized nonviolent social movements can abolish or reform institutions that oppress them.
The Power to the Peaceful Festival celebrates satyagraha and nurtures a space where over 50,000 people gather annually, peacefully, to sing, dance, organize, speak, raise consciousness, and rekindle the awareness that individually and collectively our future is determined by our commitment to truth, justice, peace, respect, love, compassion, tolerance, and understanding. This September 11th in London, "Brussels, Canada, Australia, New York City,Washington DC, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Ames, and Flagstaff people are using music, art, film, and speeches, at symposiums and rallies, to challenge the 9/11 lies that have been used to justify 9/11 wars.
The Bay Area is home to many of the 9/11 Truth groups that have catalyzed the growing global truth movement. This includesArchitects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth who are pushing for a new investigation of 9/11, particularly of the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings, citing the hard evidence of explosive material in the dust, amongst other evidence, that the 9/11 Commission and NIST has ignored.
Professor Steven Jones, physicist, whose research on the WTC dust is threatening to the 9/11 cover-up, is featured in two of the films, including Hypothesis. Filmmaker Brett Smith captured a damning interview of C. Martin Hinckley in his documentary; Hinckley first threatened Jones and then tried to bribe him to redirect his research. The film shows one method used to corrupt scientists to serve political ends at the expense of principles and higher purpose. Professor Jones has heroically persisted in his pursuit of truth, despite media attacks and the loss of his teaching position; he and other scientists co-authored Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe, which was published in the peer-reviewed Bentham Open Chemical Physics Journal and received media attention outside the US, particularly in Denmark where co-author Chemistry Professor Niels Harrit resides.