As the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks approaches, there appears to be a competition for who can create the most offensive 9/11 themed marketing gimmicks. The top contender recreated the towers from boxes of Coke products and mattresses.
Shawn Richard was out shopping with his girlfriend at a Walmart in Panama City when they spotted the Twin Towers made up entirely of soda products. Disgusted, he snapped a photo and posted it to Twitter.
“We stopped and stared at it like, oh my god,” Richard told BuzzFeed News. “Nobody seemed to be noticing it, it wasn’t very crowded, and I got the feeling that it had just been assembled. So we took some pics and went on our way.”
The photo has been retweeted thousands of times, with users mocking the tacky stunt.
“This display was meant to honor local firefighters and to support their organization’s upcoming event. We sincerely apologize that anyone was offended or misunderstood its intent, and we have replaced the display,” the Coca-Cola Company said in a statement.
Coca Cola isn’t the only company that does not understand that 9/11 is not a holiday, and not a time for marketing gimmicks.
Miracle Mattress in San Antonio, Texas, is also in hot water after making a hyper and obnoxious commercial urging people to come to their “Twin Towers sale.” In the shocking ad, a woman announces that all mattresses are on sale for a “twin price” as she stands infront of two stacks of mattresses aiming to resemble the towers.
At the end of the clip, two men knock over the mattresses and the woman turns back to the camera and says, “we’ll never forget.”
The owner of the store, Mike Bonanno, has since issued an apology — and announced that the store is closing “indefinitely.”
“I say this unequivocally, with sincere regret: the video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11,” he wrote. “I am disgusted such a video would have been conceived as a promotional tool. And even more incensed it was created and posted on any social media site that represents Miracle Mattress.”
The September 11 attacks killed 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000 others.
Richard Gage, Barbara Honegger, Manny Badillo, and Stephen White, together last night, where able to bring attention to World Trade Center Building 7, with the third light.
We Are Change Pittsburgh and TheEndRun.com
March 18, 2010
At 1pm on Sunday, March 21, 2010, members of We Are Change Pittsburgh will gather outside of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland for a demonstration and information session in response to the recent “Intelligence Report” published by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
In this report, The SPLC has included We Are Change Pittsburgh on their list of “’Patriot’ groups”. “Generally”, the SPLC says, such groups “engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines”.
”Not surprisingly, The Southern Poverty Law Center does not even attempt to offer any evidence whatsoever to support this absurd characterization” says Dave Beard, one of the groups organizers. “As the SPLC would know if they had taken the time to attend one of our events or speak with us directly, we are not anti-government. We are pro-small government; specifically government limited to its proper role of protecting the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens.”
”If the SPLC wants to take issue with that point of view then they should attempt to make an honest case against it”, Beard says. “Misrepresenting our views in an attempt to smear us is disingenuous and wrong.”
While the SPLC says that groups such as We Are Change Pittsburgh appearing on this particular list “does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist”, members of We Are Change Pittsburgh say the context makes it abundantly clear that the SPLC is attempting to associate them with violence and racism.
In the “Who We Are” section of their website SPLC describe themselves as “a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.” We Are Change Pittsburgh notes that the “Intelligence Report” issue in which they are listed as a “Patriot” group features stories about “Neo-Nazis”, “white supremacists”, “U.S. Anti-Gay Activists”, “Anti-Latino Violence”, the “Hate-murder” of an immigrant, “killer skinheads”, and more.
The cover-story of the issue is “Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism”, and this text appears in prominently on the front cover of the report. According to the SPLC, We Are Change Pittsburgh, a non-partisan group, is part of the “radical right” – a classification which the SPLC also says encompasses militia groups, racist white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and more. In the cover story, editor Mark Potok further alleges a “cross-pollination between different sectors of the radical right”, including “’Patriot’ groups” such as We Are Change. As an example, he makes the claim that “racist rants against Obama and others coursed through the Patriot movement” over the past year – yet another claim which he provides no evidence for.
”Once again, it is clear that the SPLC and Potok are out to mislead their readers and demonize groups like ours” says Beard. ”We Are Change Pittsburgh, like all Chapters of We Are Change around the globe, practices and advocates strictly non-violent activism as taught by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. We speak out against violence and aggression, including terrorism and war. We are against racism and all other forms of collectivism. We believe the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and the Pennsylvania Constitution and Declaration of Rights are the supreme law of the land, and we believe that the rights enumerated therein are intrinsic to each individual, regardless of their national origin, race, religion, gender, education, economic status, life style, or political opinion, and that these rights are inalienable. We therefore oppose legislation which is not in accordance with these documents.”
”As a matter of fact, one of the major issues we have been vocally opposed to is the Eugenics movement” adds Andrew Forrest, another of the group’s members. “We recently did a public screening of the documentary Maafa 21 – Black Genocide in the 21st Century, which exposes the movement’s racist agenda and documents the fact that it has deliberately targeted blacks for decades.”
We Are Change Pittsburgh also rejects the notion that they engage in “groundless conspiracy theorizing”.
“We do our best to offer sourced, scholarly, and factual information about a wide variety of serious issues which directly affect every day Americans”, Forrest says. “Because this information is sometimes related to controversial topics and often exposes corruption and illegal activities at the highest levels, it is not surprising that there are those who would want to marginalize it and paint those who discuss it as irrational, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
While the topics the group covers range from the dangers of genetically modified food and water fluoridation to the Federal Reserve System (which the group characterizes as a “quasi-private banking cartel”), perhaps the most controversial topic with which We Are Change Pittsburgh deals is the attacks of September 11th. We Are Change Pittsburgh has held public screenings of a number of documentaries which challenge the official account of what happened on 9/11 and offer evidence that the 9/11 Commission Report was a whitewash covering up insider complicity at the highest levels of the federal government.
While the SPLC labels views such as these “conspiracy theories”, Time Magazine reported on September 3, 2006 that “a Scripps-Howard poll of 1,010 adults last month found that 36% of Americans consider it ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ that government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried out or carried out the attacks themselves.”
”Thirty-six percent adds up to a lot of people”, the Time article continued. “This is not a fringe phenomenon. It is a mainstream political reality.”
”The bottom line is that we are not asking anyone to take our word or anyone else’s on anything, especially 9/11”, says Adam Fischman, a member of We Are Change Pittsburgh. “The reason that there are more and more people in this country and around the world questioning the events of 9/11 as time goes on is because there is an overwhelming body of evidence in the public domain which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that what we were told was in many ways a monstrous fabrication. Like other members of We Are Change Pittsburgh it was not until I took a hard, objective look at the evidence supporting this view that I came to this frightening yet unavoidable conclusion about 9/11 — the same conclusion that millions of other people in this country, some of whom are quoted at PatriotsQuestion911.com, have reluctantly come to as well. We simply pass this evidence on. Beyond that we leave it to our fellow citizens to evaluate it and make up their own minds.”
Some of that evidence is laid out in a documentary entitled “9/11: Blueprint for Truth”, which We Are Change Pittsburgh will be distributing on Sunday. The two-hour DVD features a presentation by Richard Gage, AIA, an architect of 20 years who founded the organization Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The group is comprised of over 1,100 architects and engineers who are petitioning Congress for a “truly independent investigation with subpoena power in order to uncover the full truth surrounding the events of 9/11/01 – specifically the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers and Building 7”. In his presentation Gage presents the “science-based forensic evidence” which he says proves “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers on 9/11 was accomplished by means of controlled demolition. The third tower, Building 7, was a 47-story building which was not hit by an airplane, and which collapsed in approximately seven seconds around 5:20pm on 9/11, falling with virtually free-fall acceleration for over two seconds. Its collapse exhibits “all the characteristics of classic controlled demolition with explosives” and “none of the characteristics of destruction by fire” according to the Architects and Engineers, whose website is AE911Truth.org.
Another video that We Are Change Pittsburgh will be distributing is entitled “National Security Alert”. It features video-recorded eyewitness testimony with a number of eyewitnesses to the attack on the Pentagon which was gathered in the context of a three year independent investigation into the event. This testimony “unfortunately happens to conclusively establish as a historical fact that the violence which took place in Arlington that day was not the result of a surprise attack by suicide hijackers, but rather a false flag ‘black operation’ involving a carefully planned and skillfully executed deception” according to a note on the home page of CitizenInvestigationTeam.com, the website of the investigators.
” If you are skeptical of (or even incensed by) this statement we do not blame you” the note continues. “We are not asking you to take our word for it, nor do we want you to do that. We want you to view the evidence and see with your own eyes that this is the case. We want you to hear it directly from the eyewitnesses who were there, just as we did.”
”We encourage people to come out Sunday and see for themselves what our non-violent group and the information we disseminate is all about’, says Beard. “Then they can make their own determination as to whether or not the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report constitutes honest reporting or dishonest propaganda driven by an apparent political agenda.”
Similar gatherings will be held the same day by We Are Change chapters in Philadelphia, Scranton, and Shenandoah.