Activists Using Fahrenheit 9/11 as an Organizing Tool

by Scott Galindez

t r u t h o u t | Report

Friday 25 June 2004

As moviegoers come out of Fahrenheit 9/11 this weekend, anti-war activists hope to take advantage of the anger Michael's Moore's award-winning film seems likely to inspire.

MoveOn.org has organized a National Interactive Town Hall Meeting for next Monday, June 28th. They have already organized over 700 house parties across the nation that night and have reserved large meeting halls for the event. MoveOn has 110,000 people pledged to see the movie this weekend, many of whom will hand out fliers promoting the Town Hall Meeting.

"This movie is one of the greatest opportunities we'll have between now and November to get new folks involved," said MoveOn's Adam Ruben. "The powerful footage in this film is going to outrage many, many people. They'll be looking for ways to take action - and we'll be there to connect them to other like-minded people in their community."

Voice4Change.org will have members outside theatres promoting the Town Hall Meeting and registering people to vote. Some of the activists will be in the traditional liberal hotspots. But many people in small towns around the country have either pledged to register voters or are looking for theatres near them so they can get involved.

One obstacle they face is that some theatre owners are refusing to show the film. If you live in the Dakota's or Wyoming, for example, you have only one place to see it - in Fargo, North Dakota.

One chain that has so far said no is Carmike, which owns theatres in the Mid-West. Mike Patrick, Carmike's president, insists that he made the decision purely for business reasons.

"This is in the biggest part of our season," he told the Chicago Tribune. "Business is great this year, and you think I'm going to play a documentary [instead of] 'Spider-Man?'"

"I'm not so sure that has commercial appeal compared to 'Spider- Man' or 'The Notebook' or 'White Chicks' or 'Around the World in 80 Days' and the other seven or eight pictures I have doing great business."

If inquiries placed to Mr. Patrick's theaters are any indication of potential ticket sales, he might be misjudging his market.

"We're getting about a hundred calls a day," said Kai Segrud, who works for Carmike in Rapid City, South Dakota,

The calls started over the weekend and have continued through this week, he said.

If hundreds of people demand to see Fahrenheit 9/11 in Rapid City, records for attendance elsewhere this weekend will likely be broken. With activists around the country poised to organize the huge numbers expected to attend, this will not be a good weekend for George W. Bush…

Informant: Ace


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