Despite nearly a year of effort to address the 50th Planning Committee regarding our 49-year tradition of holding a Moment of Silence on the Grassy Knoll to commemorate the life, legacy and assassination of President John F. Kennedy and to speak the truth about who killed him and why, we have been greeted with denial and total silence to date.
After reading our comments below and the Mayor’s announcement of his planned event, we suggest you apply for an individual ticket at:
www.50thHonoringJohnFKennedy.com (details below).
We also suggest that you write to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street, Room 5EN, Dallas, TX 75201) to let him know you want to attend the COPA Moment of Silence on November 22 at 12:30 pm, that has been held there for 49 years at the Grassy Knoll and that you want him to let the public and the world in without tickets that day, and that you support free speech.
And please sign on to our online petition to the Mayor to open Dealey Plaza to the public that day and send it out or post it on social media and to your own lists to help make it public. See https://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-mike-rawlings-dallas-tx-open-dealey-plaza-to-the-public-on-november-22-2013
Why do you need a ticket to get to your history?
COPA has long sought a permit for our annual Moment of Silence this year, which also speaks truth to power about the assassination of President Kennedy, who was behind his murder and why he was killed to put others in power in the United States in an un-Constitutional coup.
Instead, the Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings reportedly instructed the chairwoman of the Committee, Ruth Sharp Altschuler, who claims to have “no authority in these matters” that he did not want “crazy conspiracy theory” on the Grassy Knoll on November 22.
Nicole Longford, director of the Sixth Floor Museum at the Texas School Book Depository, which has memorialized the false sniper’s nest of the discredited Warren Commission Report and blamed Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin, was quoted in the Dallas Morning News saying she took out an exclusive permit for Dealey Plaza on November 22 to be “proactive” (pre-emptive?) on behalf of the Mayor to prevent “a circus, a carnival atmosphere and conspiracy theory” on the 50th anniversary at the Grassy Knoll.
The Sixth Floor permit was taken out with no event planned and Longford told the DMN that they were still planning what to do, including “maybe a moment of silence”. Sadly such a “moment of silence” about the assassination and the political truth it reveals would instead mark a perpetuity of silence.
When approached, she told the Coalition on Political Assassinations that, “We simply suggest that you set aside the national and international press attention to his death to another moment.” What other moment could that possibly be?
The Mayor knows the press is coming from all over the world that day to Dealey Plaza, he is a career advertising man, and he wants to do a massive public relations event to show the world that Dallas loved and still loves John F. Kennedy with a solemn and dignified event that celebrates his life and legacy, but refuses to mention his assassination at that time and place. It would be like celebrating the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln on April 14 at the Ford Theater where he was shot in Washington, DC.
COPA celebrates JFK’s life and legacy, and we think it got him killed. We just held an annual commemoration of Kennedy’s speech calling for real peace, a detente with the Soviet Union, and an end to the nuclear testing and arms race, as well as nuclear disarmament. That was likely the last nail in his coffin.
His speech the next day, June 11, addressing the racial justice issue in America was similarly controversial and was followed that night with the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. More major assassinations would follow of those who led social movements for racial and social justice and to end the war in Vietnam as well as the Cold War, including Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his brother Robert F. Kennedy, who had also vowed to reopen JFK’s assassination once elected to the presidency in 1968.
The Mayor’s hired publicist, Laurie Peat discussed COPA at early planning meetings and asserted that they did not want “conspiracists” on the Grassy Knoll. The Mayor asked how many chairs would be on the Grassy Knoll and that they would have to fill them.
At the opening event for the 50th anniversary in Dallas, the Mayor sat in a large audience to hear Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. assert that his father, the former Attorney General under President Kennedy, never believed the conclusions of the Warren Commission and started his own investigation into a conspiracy behind the assassination of his brother. This was greeted with loud applause because we are not the dissent but the majority view among Americans, 85% of whom discount the Warren Commission and believe a conspiracy killed their president according to recent polls.
In our meeting with the Mayor, researcher Jeff Morley asked if Robert F. Kennedy would be welcome to speak at the Mayor’s event, and he said he would “but he would have to stay on point”. Apparently nobody will have free speech there that day. See the prohibition language below on “banners, signs, bullhorns or megaphones”.
One of the clearest violations of the principles of the First Amendment, recognized in all courts over many years, is “content-based denial of free speech” that tries to silence the speaker based on the message. The Sixth Floor Museum withdrew its illegally issued permit on November 19 last year and COPA submitted the only legal permit application for an event on the Grassy Knoll on November 22 that we have held for decades without any problem.
The Dallas City Attorney wrote to tell us that the ONLY park in Dallas open to permit on November 22 would be City Hall Plaza, far from the scene of the crime. Even this turns out not to be the case, it has apparently been “reserved for dignitaries” by the City that day.
There are many errors in the press release and fact sheet reprinted below laying out the Mayor’s plans for November 22. This is not the “first designated event that the City of Dallas has ever held in Kennedy’s memory” since there have been many annual commemorations in the past at City Hall Plaza and at Kennedy Memorial Park. We have suggested to the Mayor that his event be held at one of those locations or inside if he is concerned about “security”, leaving Dealey Plaza open at 12:30 pm for our event and the crowds.
There were 5,000 or more there on the 40th anniversary and they did not fill the Plaza by any means. “Security” beyond logistics is not a real issue since people come to pay their respects not to cause any trouble.
How do you honor the life and legacy of any man if you refuse to solve his murder? The Mayor will hold a moment of silence at 11:45 and end his event at 12:45 if it goes as planned. Why not move it to 11:00 am and end at 12:00 noon and allow the public in instead before 12:30 pm?
Dealey Plaza is a public park and a designated historical site. As such it holds a special status in the courts in regards to denial of free speech. Content-based denial is even worse. More importantly, Dealey Plaza and the Grassy Knoll is probably one of the most visited historical sites in our country since the assassination. Millions of tourists come all year to be part of that historical moment, and in larger numbers on November 22.
On November 22, 2013, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the president at 12:30 pm, Dealey Plaza belongs to history, to the American people and to the world.
The Mayor told us that “tens of thousands of people” are expected to come to Dallas that day. What will happen when they pay to get there from all over America and the world and come up to police barriers blocking them from Dealey Plaza?
Why do we need a ticket to be part of our own history that day?
In an incomprehensible statement reported on Dallas television news, the Mayor says he is creating all this security to prevent a repeat of the Kennedy assassination:
Kendra Lyn of KXAS NBC 5 in Dallas, June 20, 2013
“The mayor just announced for everyone’s safety, only 5,000 people will be allowed here at Dealey Plaza for the somber remembrance. The website where you can request tickets just went live a few minutes ago.”
“Mayor Rawlings says they’re taking steps to make sure tragedy doesn’t strike twice here. … You only have until July 31 to request tickets online; that’s when the 5,000 people will be selected; at that point it will be turned over to the Dallas Police Department to run background checks on everyone who has requested tickets.”
Also note from the ticket website:
CAN I BRING MY OWN FOLDING CHAIR OR BLANKET TO SIT ON?
No, portable chairs of any kind and blankets are not permissible. In addition, do not bring umbrellas, strollers, backpacks, oversized purses or shoulder bags, banners, signs, bullhorns or megaphones.
More details on the tickets and event below:
The ticket request deadline is July 31, 2013. Recipients of tickets will be notified via email on or about October 1, 2013, after a security screening is completed.
No additional tickets will be available at the event. Persons of all ages, including children, must have a ticket to attend. There will not be seating at the event; however, there will be accommodation for persons with disabilities.
For security purposes, you will be asked to enter a valid driver’s license/state issued ID number or passport number or social security number on your request form. Two forms of ID are required on the form; please have your numbers ready when you begin the process.
You may request 1 or 2 tickets to the event. Blocks or group ticket requests cannot be accommodated.
You will be notified on the status of your ticket request on or about October 1, 2013. Only those receiving tickets will be notified
Tickets will NOT be mailed to you. You may only pick up tickets in person at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Avenue in downtown Dallas, on the day of the event, Friday, November 22, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. CST.
Each person attending MUST present photo ID, with information that matches the ticket form, when picking up tickets. For security reasons, no tickets can be released without a photo ID. Acceptable photo identification includes driver’s license, state issued ID, school ID or passport.