Sunday, June 6, 2010
They started showing up long before the rally began at noon today. They came from Washington state, California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere. They were Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists, Muslims of conscience. They were lovers of freedom.
An hour before the rally began, they numbered 1,000. Zuccotti Park's owners withdrew their permit to allow us to gather there, and so the police repeatedly requested that people leave the park and move into the pens that the police had set up at Church and Liberty streets. Before noon, however, the pens were full -- and so, with free citizens having every legal right to be in the park, the park became a site for the rally.
By the time the rally was in full swing, the crowd filled the pens, the park, and the other side of the street. Police estimated that 5,000 people were there, and other estimates ranged as high as 10,000. The crowd carried signs expressing their love for freedom, their contempt for Sharia, and their anger at Islamic supremacism and insult to the memories of those murdered on 9/11 that this mosque represents.