September 8, 2016 / Brooklyn news / Boerum Hill / Brooklyn Is Angry

The ‘truth’ hurts: Staff at 9-11 truther talk attack spitting protestor

Brooklyn Paper
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A protest outside a talk by a controversial 9-11 “truther” in Boerum Hill on Wednesday night turned violent when a protestor spat at a venue employee and the worker tried to slug him in return.

Things went south when a female protestor claimed that a barista at Atlantic Avenue event space the Brooklyn Commons had called her “fat b----” when evicting her from conspiracy theorist Christopher Bollyn’s talk on “the Israeli-Zionist and neo-conservative cabal” he believes is responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks — prompting a male rabble rouser to hawk a loogie at the worker, who then swung at the guy and wrestled him to the ground along with a beefy security guard the space called in for the divisive event.

“He walked out the door and one of the demonstrators spat in his face and he tackled the guy,” said venue owner Melissa Ennen, who defied earlier demands from residents and activists to cancel the event, arguing that Bollyn’s ideas would “spark discussion.”

The spitter ran off after the scuffle and police arrived on the scene within minutes, though they didn’t make any arrests.

Around 30 people turned out for Bollyn’s talk, and roughly the same number gathered on the sidewalk, holding signs reading “Nazi scum your time has come” and “Our oppression is not up for debate.”

Among those in attendance was Councilman Brad Lander (D–Cobble Hill), who said he was appalled to learn that the owner of the self-described “progressive” work space was giving a platform to a man who believes the Jews had orchestrated the attack on the Twin Towers to force the world into war.

“He’s anti-Semitic, he’s a 9-11 truther, it’s gross,” said Lander, who is Jewish. “To learn that the owner of this space, who held it up as an inclusive venue turns out to sympathize with those vile, crazy points of view is really depressing.”

But attendees claimed they didn’t hear anything anti-Semitic or far-fetched in Bollyn’s two-hour talk — just well-known facts about who was really behind 9-11.

“Fifteen years later, it’s a plain obvious fact that those buildings were brought down by explosives — there’s a group of people who brought them down and anyone who denies it is not informed,” said Manhattanite Eric Rassi. “[Bollyn] is someone who was involved in a legitimate investigation of an obvious crime against the country and the facts and conclusions he’s reached are what these people don’t want to hear.”

Ennen, who has herself spoken at a truther event in the past, also claimed Bollyn didn’t say anything derogatory about Jews and said she also doesn’t believe the government’s version of what brought the towers down.

The lefty organizations that work out of the Commons by day had denounced the talk in an open letter and one, the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, pulled all of its classes from the venue. But Ennen said she wouldn’t apologize for letting people exercise their first amendment rights.

“I don’t know what I’d be apologizing for, I would not,” said Ennen, the creator of the now-defunct Brooklyn Bridge Magazine. “I can say that I’m very, very sorry that this has been a breach of a lot of friendships and people that say I betrayed their trust, but I strongly feel that I am not in the position to be a censor.”

One activist said the event had not only tarnished her opinion of the Commons, it made the whole of Kings County look terrible.

“We’d expect that kind of s--- to be hosted in Staten lsland but we do not expect that in Brooklyn,” said a Rock resident who identified herself only as Jen due to fear of retaliation.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Fred from Park Slope says:
Well, this really exposes Brooklyn Commons as a supporter of "truther" ignorance and anti-semites.
Sept. 8, 2016, 9:50 am
Michael from Brooklyn says:
I don't believe in any of this bs, but I'm so glad the anti-free-speech police showed up in full force to prevent these oh so dangerous words from being said. Please spit and try to forcibly silence anyone who says something you don't like. His mouth is basically your property. I hope in the future they can control our brains so that we can't think the thoughts they don't condone.
Sept. 8, 2016, 10:13 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Slobbering SJWs know that the First Amendment can't mean protecting counter-revolutionary speech that hurts their safe spaces.
Sept. 8, 2016, 10:46 am
eric from lower east side says:
this guy is not your average "truther" even most others in that movement find his white supremacist, anti-semitic, Holocaust denial rhetoric to be offensive


The fact that Bollyn is extensively sourced in 9/11 skeptics' literature, combined with the fact that his employer, the American Free Press, has neo-Nazi associations, gives defenders of the official 9/11 myth effective ammunition with which to attack their critics.
Sept. 8, 2016, 11:51 am
Jerry from Upper West Side says:
I am saying that the spit could not have come from behind ... that there had to have been a second spitter behind the bushes on the gravelly road.
Sept. 8, 2016, Noon
Roger McDowell from Atlanta says:
It was me.
Sept. 8, 2016, 12:39 pm
frank from furter says:
The Donald did it to get redevelopment property.
FDR was Jewish and he new the Japanese were going to bomb pearl harbor and allowed it so we would get into the war and save the Jews.
Senator Cruz's father killed JFK.
I am actually the Linberg child grown up.
Sept. 8, 2016, 1:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I have never believed any of those conspiracy theories by the 9/11 truthers, and this is from someone who isn't a Bush supporter. As an Israeli-born Jew, I feel offended by this person. The Zionists had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks as it was done by Al Qaeda, who are all Muslims. I wouldn't spit on this person, but I wouldn't believe one thing he says and consider him a nut job.
Sept. 8, 2016, 6:08 pm
Architect from NY says:
If you have the strength to face the truth and the integrity to respect it, search YouTube for "9/11 explosive evidence".
Sept. 8, 2016, 6:55 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
The 9/11 truther crowd, the same people that claim the Sandy Hook school shootings were a hoax. Don't give these cretinous imbeciles the dignity they seek for their nonsense.
Sept. 8, 2016, 8:32 pm
Donny Frump from Flatbush says:
Where was Ted Cruz's father on 9/11? I'm just saying. I think the National Enquirer wrote something about him being with those thousands of Muslims who were celebrating in New Jersey that night. People say I couldn't have seen that but the TV networks destroyed the tape. It's sad, folks. Sad.
Sept. 9, 2016, 11:40 am

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