[Last updated: December 17, 2016]
Here’s a link list for news articles and related resources about Far Right antisemite Christopher Bollyn’s appearance at the (formerly) “progressive” space Brooklyn Commons, and owner Melissa Ennen’s welcoming of the booking.
Ennen’s new career as a host for antisemites drew denunciations from a state senator, two city councilers, many of the tenants in the building, Jewish groups, and local Palestine Solidarity groups (both Jewish and not). International coverage included Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, and the International Business Times. Even the orthodox Jewish press chimed in.
Ennen has tripled down on the booking and, in the WBAI interview, said she would welcome David Duke to speak there.
A second protest at the end of September, during an open mic, resulted in the non-violent protestors being attacked with, among among things, a mic stand and had a hot cup of coffee thrown on them – caught on video.
Daniel Sieradski, “Brooklyn Commons hosting antisemitic truther Christopher Bollyn,” Jewschool, September 3, 2016.
Mitchell Plitnick, “Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorist Speaking At Progressive Sites in NYC and DC,” The Third Way, September 3, 2016, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/03/anti-semitic-conspiracy-theorist-speaking-at-progressive-sites-in-nyc-and-dc.
Mitchell Plitnick, “Busboys and Poets Cancels Christopher Bollyn Event!,” September 4, 2016, The Third Way, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/04/busboys-and-poets-cancels-christopher-bollyn-event.
Spencer Sunshine, “Far Right Conspiracy Theorist Christopher Bollyn to Speak at the Brooklyn Commons,” September 5, 2016.
Mitchell Plitnick, “Shame On Brooklyn Commons as Another Venue Cancels Bollyn Appearance (UPDATED),” September 5, 2016, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/05/shame-on-brooklyn-commons-as-another-venue-cancels-bollyn-appearance.
Tiffany Owens, “Leftist Groups Protest Controversial Scheduled Speaker at Brooklyn Commons Café,” BK Reader, September 6, 2016.
“Anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theorist to speak at NY venue for progressive groups,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 6, 2016.
Lauren Gill, “‘Raging anti-Semite’ 9-11 truther speaking in Boerum Hill tonight,” Brooklyn Paper, September 7, 2016.
Gabriela Geselowitz, “Tonight: Protest an Anti-Semite,” Jewcy, September 7, 2016.
Naomi Dann, “The Jewish Left Needs To Call Out Real Anti-Semites Like Christopher Bollyn,” Forward, September 7, 2016.
Sam Kestenbaum, “Progressive Brooklyn Space Won’t Dump ‘Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Nut’,” Forward, September 7, 2016.
David Schraub, “A Hip Leftist Hub is Hosting an Anti-Semite Today. Here’s What Progressives Must Learn From That,” Tablet, September 7, 2016, www.tabletmag.com/scroll/212755/a-hip-leftist-hub-is-hosting-an-anti-semite-today-heres-what-progressives-must-learn-from-that.
“Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorist Christopher Bollyn Speaks In Brooklyn,” September 7, 2016, Anti-Defamation League, http://blog.adl.org/anti-semitism/anti-semitic-conspiracy-theorist-christopher-bollyn-speaks-in-brooklyn.
“Anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracist set to speak to progressive Jewish groups,” September 7, 2016, Jerusalem Post, www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Anti-Semitic-911-conspiracist-set-to-speak-to-progressive-Jewish-groups-467101.
Mitchell Plitnick, “Brooklyn Commons Owner Responds, Doubles Down on Anti-Semitic Speaker,” September 7, 2016, The Third Way, https://mitchellplitnick.com/2016/09/07/brooklyn-commons-owner-responds-doubles-down-on-anti-semitic-speake.
Daniel Sieradski, “How it went down at the Brooklyn Commons tonight,” September 7, 2016, https://storify.com/selfagency/how-it-went-down-at-the-brooklyn-commons-tonight
Lauren Gill, “The ‘truth’ hurts: Staff at 9-11 truther talk attack spitting protestor,” Brooklyn Paper, September 8, 2016.
[includes video of Brooklyn Commons employee, who is spit on and then attempts to attack a protestor]
Brendan O’Connor, “An Antisemitic 9/11 Truther Grows in Brooklyn,” Jezebel, September 8, 2016.
Sam Kestenbaum, “9/11 Anniversary Sparks New Wave of Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories,” Forward, September 8, 2016.
(Also published in the International Business Times)
Bill Weinberg, “‘Progressive’ Brooklyn Commons hosts anti-Semite,” Countervortex, September 8, 2016.
Sam Kestenbaum, “9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Blames Terror Attack on ‘Zionist War Agenda’ in Brooklyn Speech,” Forward, September 8, 2016.
Marilyn Mayo, “That Time I Came Face to Face With an Anti-Semite in Brooklyn,” Forward, September 8, 2016.
Joyce Chu, “Anti-Semitic Author Christoper Bollyn to Speak in Brooklyn,” JPUpdates, September 8, 2016, http://jpupdates.com/2016/09/08/anti-semitic-author-christoper-bollyn-to-speak-in-brooklyn
David Schraub, “On Listening to Us: A Follow Through on the Brooklyn Common,” The Debate Link, September 9, 2016, http://dsadevil.blogspot.com/2016/09/on-listening-to-us-follow-through-on.html
Debra Nussbaum Cohen, “9/11 Truther’s Controversial Speech at Hipster Brooklyn Bastion Draws Protesters, Police,” Haaretz, September 9, 2016.
Rob Bryan, “An Anti-Semitic Conpiracist Comes to Brooklyn, Sparking Outrage,” Alternet, September 9, 2016, www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/anti-semitic-conspiracist-comes-brooklyn-sparking-outrage
[Favorite line: when asked if 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, Bollyn said it was “not his area of expertise.”]
Jacob Siegel, “Jew-Hater Christopher Bollyn Brings 9/11 False Flag Act to the Brooklyn Commons,” Daily Beast, September 10, 2016, www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/10/jew-hater-christopher-bollyn-brings-9-11-false-flag-act-to-the-brooklyn-commons.html
Nathan J. Robinson, “Let the Kooks Speak,” Current Affairs, September 10, 2016, https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/09/let-the-kooks-speak
“Christopher Bollyn’s presentation for Friday, Sept.9th has been cancelled,” West-Park Press, September 13, 2016, http://west-parkpress.blogspot.com/2016/09/christopher-bollyns-presentation-for.html.
[from the UWS church who cancelled Bollyn’s other NYC talk]
“A Lesson Hopefully Learned,” Hamodia (Daily Newspaper of Torah Jewry), September 11, 2016, http://hamodia.com/2016/09/11/lesson-hopefully-learned
[Even the conservative, Orthodox press chimes in]
“What do we do when a neo-Nazi speaks at a Left venue?,” Systemic Disorder, September 14, 2016, https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/anti-semitism-and-the-left
Doug Chandler, “Progressives Reflect on Antisemitism in Their Midst,” Jewish Week (New York), September 21, 2016, www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york/progressives-reflect-anti-semitism-their-midst
Sam Kestenbaum, “For Jewish Left, a Conflict in Brooklyn Exposes Bitter Split Over Anti-Semitism,” Forward, September 30, 2016, http://forward.com/news/351032/for-jewish-left-a-conflict-in-brooklyn-exposes-bitter-split-over-anti-semit.
[includes video of a WBAI advisory board member assaulting protestors]
CONDEMNATIONS FROM ELECTED OFFICIALS:
New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, “Rejecting Hate in Our Community,” BK Reader, September 7, 2016, http://www.bkreader.com/2016/09/rejecting-hate-community/
New York City Counciler Brad Lander, Twitter, September 4, 2016. “Highly distressing to see @BrooklynCommons hosting anti-semitic conspiracy nut this week,” https://twitter.com/bradlander/status/772455049184305153
New York City Counciler Steve Levin said “I am alarmed that Mr. Bollyn’s outrageous, abhorrent, and libelous theories on 9–11 are being presented as somehow ‘progressive’ and I hope those in attendance challenge Mr. Bollyn forcefully.” See Brooklyn Paper article.
CONDEMNATIONS FROM BROOKLYN COMMONS TENANTS & OTHERS WHO USE THE SPACE:
“Statement from Multiple Organizations on Christopher Bollyn Event at the Brooklyn Commons,” Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, September 4, 2016, https://thebrooklyninstitute.com/2016/09/04/statement-from-multiple-organizations-on-christopher-bollyn-event-at-the-brooklyn-commons.
Families United for Racial & Economic Equality (FUREE), September 5, 2016, www.facebook.com/FUREEous/posts/1449795611713553
Baffler Editor in Chief Chris Lehmann, Baffler, September 6, 2016, www.facebook.com/TheBafflerMagazine/posts/10153864009843597.
“Jewish Voice for Peace–NYC calls on Brooklyn Commons to Cancel Event with Antisemitic speaker,” Jewish Voice for Peace, September 6, 2016, https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/jewish-voice-peace-nyc-calls-brooklyn-commons-cancel-event-antisemitic-speaker.
“JFREJ Calls on Brooklyn Commons to Cancel Anti-Semitic Event,” September 6, 2016, JFREJ, http://jfrej.org/jfrej-calls-on-brooklyn-commons-to-cancel-anti-semitic-event.
“CUNY for Palestine Statement on Brooklyn Commons Hosting Anti-Semitic Speaker,” Academic Boycott of Israel at CUNY, September 6, 2016, https://cunyboycott.wordpress.com/statements.
If Not Now, “An Open Letter to The Brooklyn Commons: Cancel the event with Christopher Bollyn,” Medium, September 7, 2016, https://medium.com/ifnotnoworg/an-open-letter-to-the-brooklyn-commons-cancel-the-event-with-christopher-bollyn-bf68d021c81e.
“Official BISR Statement on Bollyn Event / Brooklyn Common,” Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, September 8, 2016, https://thebrooklyninstitute.com/2016/09/08/official-bisr-statement-on-bollyn-event-brooklyn-commons.
BISR Executive Director Ajay Singh Chaudhary, “A letter from Ajay,” Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, September 8, 2016, https://thebrooklyninstitute.com/2016/09/08/a-letter-from-ajay.
“Demand the Brooklyn Commons Publicly Oppose Bigotry in All Forms,” ND, https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/demand-the-brooklyn-commons-publicly-oppose-bigotry-in-all-forms [INN petition]
Boycott call, “This Is Not Our Commons: Boycott the Brooklyn Commons!,” https://jewishantifascists.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/boycott-flyer-final.pdf
— OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST—
ENNEN’S LETTER DEFENDING THE BOOKING AND DENOUNCING EVERYONE ELSE AS WHINY SAFE SPACERS
“Letter from Melissa regarding Christopher Bollyn talk,” dated September 7th, 2016 4:00 PM (actually appeared online earlier), https://web.archive.org/web/20160907011117/http://thecommonsbrooklyn.org/civicrm/event/info?id=13804&reset=1
ENNEN’S 9/11 TRUTH BACKGROUND: “[Westchester911truth] Press Advisory: 9/11 Truth Breakthrough Weekend in NYC,” September 6, 2006, http://two.pairlist.net/pipermail/westchester911truth/2006-September/000051.html
ENNEN SPENT $2 MILLION IN A VANITY MAGAZINE IN 1995
ENNEN ON WBAI, SPINNING LIES ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PROTEST, September 16, 2016
On air at the radio station which is based in the same space that Melissa Ennen owns, she says: “If the KKK or David Duke or anybody came here and wanted to rent the space, I’d say fine, rent the space, see who you can persuade.” (around 23:00)
Brooklyn for Peace, “BFP Statement re Controversy About the Brooklyn Commons,” http://brooklynpeace.org/?p=5876
[undated] [note: Brooklyn for Peace sent a letter before the talk asking Melissa to cancel]
BFP initiated: “Statement in Support of Brooklyn Commons and Melissa Ennen”
This statement, apparently initiated after tenants of the Brooklyn Commons were consulted before a boycott of the space was called, calls on people to support Ennen as she affirms that the Brooklyn Commons is open to use by the Far Right.
UNITARIAN CHURCH, HARTFORD, CT CANCELLATION: www.facebook.com/UnitarianSocietyOfHartford/posts/10154404372188617
BUSBOYS AND POETS CANCELLATION: https://twitter.com/busboysandpoets/status/772460846094049280
‘SO YOU’RE HOSTING CHRISTOPHER BOLLYN?’
Rafael Shimunov, “So, You’re Hosting Christopher Bollyn?,” September 9, 2016, https://medium.com/@rafaelshimunov/so-youre-hosting-christopher-bollyn-9b0f39a415cd#.34vhblor1
JEWISH ANTIFASCIST ACTION, https://jewishantifascists.wordpress.com/
Corey Robin on refusing to speak at the Brooklyn Commons: http://coreyrobin.com/2016/10/15/why-i-wont-be-appearing-at-the-brooklyn-commons-on-wednesday/
VIDEO OF TALK OF BOLLYN AT THE BROOKLYN COMMONS:
full video (2+ hours)
(If you’d rather watch the video in segments)
“9/11 and Our Political Crisis – Christopher Bollyn at The Brooklyn Commons Pt 1“