A group of non-profit organizations in Brooklyn have released a joint statement protesting the scheduled appearance on Wednesday of controversial, right-wing speaker and American journalist Christopher Bollyn at the Brooklyn Commons, a café and left-leaning event and meeting space on Atlantic Avenue. The claim is that Bollyn stands behind an anti-semitic belief system.
“We do not have any say in event booking and management at the Commons,” the joint statement reads, “but agree that such politics should have no place in leftist spaces.”
Bollyn is a widely traveled American writer who has spent the past fifteen years researching the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers. In 2012, he released his book, Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World, in which he argues that Zionist Jews were heavily involved in the events of September 11. Since then, he has been active in the Truther Movement, a grassroots effort that rejects the mainstream narrative about the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror.
According to the Brooklyn Commons’s website, Bollyn’s message is, “a rare voice exposing the neocons and their Zionist partners-in-crime who had the means, motive, and opportunity to pull off this game-changing event. Bollyn provides hard evidence that these same people (or their proxies) to this day continue to foment terrorism and war, domestically and abroad.”
Spencer Sunshine, a Brooklyn resident and activist, has joined local efforts to oppose Bollyn’s appearance, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
To invite Bollyn, Sunshine said, is disruptive– not just because he’s a “right winger coming into a left wing space,” but also because he says Bollyn’s work is fundamentally anti-semitic. He pointed to statements Bollyn has made in the past about Jews, which he posted on his blog.
Sunshine added that even though parts of Bollyn’s theory may be based on facts, it’s largely conspiratorial, bigoted against Jews and designed to “whip people into a non-rational type of behavior.”
But in a Facebook exchange, a representative at Brooklyn Commons said she has looked at Bollyn’s social media pages and, “nothing anti-semitic jumped out at me.”
Melissa Ennen from the café released a statement on Tuesday, defending the decision to allow Bollyn to speak. She explained the purpose of the space is to encourage discussion between groups across the political spectrum:
“I agree that all forms of racism should have no place in leftist spaces,” she wrote. “[B]ut in my opinion, to get to the root of racist thinking, confrontation works better than censorship.”
Christopher Bollyn is scheduled to speak at Brooklyn Commons, located at 388 Atlantic Avenue, on Wednesday, September 7, Wednesday, 7:00pm.