Activist’s speech riles some SJCC students

Zizly Flores

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[media-credit id=32 align=”alignnone” width=”400″]Activist’s speech riles some SJCC students[/media-credit]

Ryan Banister speaks about his Sept. 11 beliefs.

An activist named Ryan Banister took center stage outside of the Student Center on September 9. during what was supposed to be a commemoration for Sept. 11. The scheduled guest speaker Barry Stallard, Fire Captain,  was not able to attend which allowed Mike Casas, Director of Activities,  to give the activist an opportunity to speak.  This created an argument between a student and Banister.

Banister’s message was apparent, wearing a T-shirt that read “9/11 was an inside job.”  Banister said that he had interviewed William Rodriguez, a janitor present at the World Trade Center who said he heard explosions prior to the initial impact of the first plane.

“Explosives were strategically placed,” Banister said. He also said that the U.S. government is behind that tragic day in 2001.  He said he felt “personally responsible” to spread the message to give the victims’ families justice.

“This is day is to commemorate, not for (expletive),” said an unknown student when Banister walked away from the microphone.  The student, who seemed offended continued to use obscenities toward Banister who then responded by saying “this is what happens when you try to use free speech.”

Although there were few, some students had gathered to listen to Banister.  The unknown student’s remarks attracted more students around the stage and even got a few cheers from the crowd.  Casas placed himself between Banister and the student to prevent a fight.

The two later apologized to each other while Casas reminded students that everyone has his or her own opinions about what happened.  He also took the microphone into the building.  Banister got back onto the stage and continued to speak for a couple of hours.

Banister continued saying that “science does not agree with the 9/11 Commission Report.” He said it is impossible for buildings to collapse from an impact, and that steel cannot melt at the temperature emitted from flames.

Banister is an activist for , an organization whose mission is to “to seek justice […], beginning with disclosure of all records and evidence, and full accountability for any and all individuals inside and outside the U.S. involved in the attacks.”

Banister then wrapped up by naming websites like encouraging students to do their own research and come to their own conclusions.