The Day After – Looking Back
August 1998 Rudolph Giuliani put a fence around City Hall with police checkpoints. The public could no longer gather by City Hall steps, not to watch press conferences, not to demonstrate, and not to hang out.
Why was Giuliani taking 9/11 countermeasures three years before 9/11 occurred? He was not. There was a movement afoot to restrict freedom, to restrict the press, to restrict the right to assembly, and that movement was pressing hard and limiting our freedom before 9/11.
Airport Restrictions, The Department of Homeland Security, preventing the public from accessing public buildings – there was a blueprint for all of these things BEFORE 9/11. They were just waiting for a good enough excuse. (City Hall steps were blocked to the public ‘because’ the US launched missiles at Afghanistan and Sudan. Pretty flimsy excuse).
On 9/11 our city was attacked. It was personal. Many of us lost friends or family. All of us lost some sense of security in our own city. We know who attacked us, and in our country’s way, it got even (killed bin Laden, invaded a few countries that had not attacked us). Slowly those of us who survived and did not breathe the poison recovered, some of us continue to recover.
But on 9/12 Giuliani and his ilk launched an assault on our freedoms that continues to this day. There is no wall that will keep Tom Ridge out. Chris Christie need not fear a Seal Team. The damage done to us on 9/12, we need to begin addressing that.