The September Project Blog

Come here to learn about the goings-on of The September Project, a grassroots effort to foster public events in all communities on September 11.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

"we have freedom of speech, at least in this room!"

i'm at a crowded cafe, excited to write about the first event i attended this afternoon. it's a bit surreal, because over the din of the crowd (there's a d.j. here for the ballard art walk), I can hear the couple next to me talking about the seattle central library, and what they think about the "futuristic" design. it seems only right i'm writing about libraries and their place in the community. whether as an architectural destination, or as a place to exchange ideas about issues that matter, libraries evoke different emotions in all of us.

today i attended my first september project event at the ballard library. for their event, the library organized a film screening of the movie "unconstitutional" with an open discussion facilitated by a volunteer for the aclu. there were 32 of us.

the movie covered topics such as the patriot act and immigration issues. republican and democrat legislators, activists, and lawyers presented their perspectives, but the most enlightening stories were from the americans affected by the results of the 9-11 attacks.

the discussion was truly open; the facilitator encouraged attendees to talk about what interested them. it took a bit for the discussion to reach a comfort zone; the shift was marked by a man who requested the group move the chairs into a circle, so we could actually talk to each other and engage. what a difference! it's amazing how physical organization can impact engagement. the group immediately fell into a rhythm where all were able to speak and learn from one another. at one point, someone exclaimed, "we have freedom of speech, at least in this room!"

for all librarians working to maintain free and open access to information, there was a group of people in ballard thanking you for doing what you do.


At September 10, 2005 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

Your work is really great.I must congrajulate you in this .I know how people out there feel especailly since i went through the same pain years ago when i was the victim of a very cruel criminal attack by islamic criminals backed by christian leaders here in India .My life turned into one of sorrow and pain .Today i live to help other people and bring my plight to the world at large .
You are right when we should get together .I have studied the sep 11 attacks and feel that that is more then meets the eye.I hope you keep doing this good work


At September 11, 2005 4:50 PM, Blogger Nosmo said...

To all,

Freedoms are so important and the US was created with them in mind. Currently it is difficult to find our freedoms and your comments are refreshing to me.

May there be more, not less, of these events!



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