Skeptics of JFK assassination official version say they’re barred from 50th anniversary

January 5, 2013

Skeptics of JFK assassination official version say they’re barred from 50th anniversary
By Edmund DeMarche
Published January 02, 2013

Nov. 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy is slumped in the backseat of this car immediately after being shot in Dallas. (AP)

A Washington-based group that has long questioned the official version of John F. Kennedy’s assassination says the city of Dallas is trampling its rights by barring it from Dealey Plaza for this year’s 50th anniversary of the murder of the nation’s 35th president.

The Coalition on Political Assassinations has gathered every year since 1994 at the site where Kennedy was killed by a sniper on Nov. 22, 1963. The group typically observes a moment of silence and members often give speeches. But this year it was denied a permit, the group’s director told

“It’s ironic that the city wants to celebrate JFK’s life — and not his death — at the very place where he was assassinated,” John Judge, the executive director of the group, said. “They are afraid of the thousands of people that will come to the site to commemorate his death and call for the truth.”

The annual gatherings were first loosely organized by journalist Penn Jones, who was one of the earliest skeptics of the official explanation of the assassination. Judge was a friend of Jones, who died in 1998.

“When he died, I promised him I would keep the tradition going,” Judge said.

Although a federal commission studied the shooting and determined that Lee Harvey Oswald, a socialist drifter and former Marine, had acted alone, the assassination has long been the subject of conspiracy theories. Judge said his coalition, which focuses on killings ranging from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., to recent drone attacks in the Middle East, has no single theory about how Kennedy was killed. But the group rejects the findings of the Warren Commission and does not believe Oswald, who was killed two days after the assassination, played any role in Kennedy’s death.

Regardless of who killed Kennedy, Judge believes his group has every right to mark the date at the site.

“This is content-based denial of free speech in a public park,” Judge wrote on his organization’s website. “Dealey Plaza belongs to history and to the American people, especially on the 50th anniversary.”

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings denied that the city banned the coalition from the event, but acknowledged that officials intend to focus on the late president’s life and ensure the event was open “mainly” to residents of Dallas.

“We make sure that opposing voices are heard in Dallas and celebrate freedom of speech,” Rawlings said. “But with this event, we focus on Kennedy’s life and legacy.”

In May, Rawlings put together a committee called The 50th Committee, to organize the anniversary. Most board members were alive to remember the president’s assassination.

“We have one board member who was waiting for Kennedy at a luncheon that he never attended,” Rawlings said.

Rawlings, for his part, remembers sitting cross-legged inside the Leawood Elementary School’s gym in Kansas and being told the news by his teacher.

“I knew it was important,” he recalls. “It was the president.”

Rawlings said his office has reached out to Judge to discuss the event.

4 Responses to Skeptics of JFK assassination official version say they’re barred from 50th anniversary

  1. Douglas Baker
    February 2, 2013 at 9:45 am

    2/02/2012 When in the 60’s and 70’s in down town Dallas we witnessed against the war in Vietnam, city “Fathers” weren’t happy, it’s no surprise as the 50th year since President Kennedy was murdered and what really happened is still largely unknown as to who did it, who the enablers were and why a decision was made to murder the President in a public way; it’s useful to remember and perhaps reread George Orwell’s 1984 (the grandchild of Jack London’s Iron Heel)and be mindful that by controlling the past, you also control the present and future. This denial is in the tradition of library burning recently in Timbuktu or a few years ago, the defacing of Religious sites in Afghanistan and absolutely goes against our Constitution’s provision for Freedom of Speech and during dark days of World War Two, President Roosevelt’s proclaiming Four Freedoms for the people. Mayor Mike’s wanting to limit participation to Dallas residence might make sense if President Kennedy were Mayor of Dallas; but he was President of these United States and people from all over the world visit Dallas to note where he was murdered. It is right and proper to celebrate his life and accomplishments as a detailed study might further indicate why he lost his life in Dallas.

  2. Wanda McDonald
    February 3, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I am reading “JFK and the Unspeakable” Why he died and why it matters, by James W. Douglass…..a very revealing book which states without any doubt that the government, our government was responsible. That JFK wanted peace, was pulling out the troops from Viet Nam, in fact an order to pull 1000 and the rest by the end of the year was in effect. He was also negotiating with Kruschev and Castro and peace, and cut in nuclear weapons. All subjects that were in opposition to our money making war mongers who sat in our government..He also verbally opposed the CIA, a very powerful criminal government agency…..They had done more than one activity against JFK policies. including the Bay of Pigs. This book is excellent, also references assassinations of RFK, MLK, notes that the King family actually went to court and it was proven in court that it was a conspiracy of the Fed Gov, Tenness gov and the Military which were responsible for MLK death. That fact has never been made public.
    This book is excellent, very well written and factual,,,with references to the fact that JFK was commited to lasting peace and thus his assassination was planned and carried out.

  3. February 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    This article states: “Although a federal commission studied the shooting and determined that Lee Harvey Oswald, a socialist drifter and former Marine, had acted alone, the assassination has long been the subject of conspiracy theories.”
    I wish to address two problems with your story. First, the “federal commission” was appointed by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, who benefited, but who, himself, could not be investigated. Nor could the CIA be investigated: Allen Dulles, whom Kennedy had fired, and who had headed the CIA, had a major role in this small body of men, all of whom were close friends of President Johnson. The Commission was formed, according to phone calls made by Johnson, to stop any other investigations form being made. The Commission was admonished to consider ONLY Oswald as assassin, according to the Katzenback Memo that said “we must convince the public” that Oswald was the lone assassin. The commission used the FBI’s investigation, even though its Director, John Edgar Hoover, knew Kennedy was going to make him retire and produces a memo to Dallas FBI NOT to look int ANY other person regarding the assassination, because the “true” assassin had been arrested (Oswald). this memo was written the same day Oswald was arrested and BEFORE any evidence reached FBI labs — even though “Wanted for Treason” posters were all over Dallas, not created by Oswald, but by a group that hated Kennedy. The new President made Hoover director for life. There’s much more: a close examination of the 26 volumes shows problems that cannot be ignored. Since then, much new evidence has been released, essentially exonerating Oswald.
    The second matter I’d like to bring to your attention has to do with this statement: “…Lee Harvey Oswald, a socialist drifter and former Marine…” Almost every day of Lee Oswald’s life was scrutinized. Of all people, we can prove Oswald was NOT “a drifter.” He lived with his mother almost constantly until he was 17 years old, at which time he joined the Marines. he had ttried to join when 16, he was so eager, but was turned down. Oswald was then in the Marines in active service until he “defected” — in what seems to have been a fake defection, since he was allowed to return to the US with a US loan and a year later had his passport renewed in just 24 hours, even though it said he planned to return to the USSR right on the passport application. this, at the height of the Cold War. He entered the USSR straight after visiting his family,and spent his 20th birthday in Moscow. He remained in the USSR almost 3 years, working at only ONE job, married, returned to the US, and worked for the next year in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In April, 1963, he returned to his native city of New Orleans for a summer of work, where his family rejoined him, at the end of summer made a quick trip to Mexico City, and then returned to Dallas-Fort Worth, where he obtained work at the now-infamous Book depository. Living with family, then with the marines, then in the USSR, and finally with his own family in his 24 years of life hardly qualifies this man as a “drifter”. Here is the definition of “drifter”: “A person who continually moves from place to place, with no fixed home or job.” As a child, he moved frequently with his mother, who was a widowed during the Great Depression, but at all times he was domiciled. Then the marines. Then life in the USSR where he held the same job the whole time, married and had a child. returned to the US, and was employed at two jobs in Dallas area, went to New Orleans, had one job there, went to Mexico City for less than two weeks, then was back to the Dallas area, where he obtained a job and–by the way–his employment records show that Lee Harvey Oswald NEVER MISSED A DAY OF WORK.
    Oswald has been dehumanized by the media, and tis is one good example. Thank you for your attention. I am the author of a book about Lee Oswald, having known him well in New Orleans.

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