(Photo courtesy Pamela Geller, who has many more here.)
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 sided with the Islamic supremacists and 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 despite the best efforts of its clueless dhimmi owners.
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.
And we had a full spectrum of top quality speakers. There were 9/11 family members, including C. Lee Hanson, who lost his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter on 9/11. There were people who experienced the oppression of Sharia firsthand, such as the Egyptian ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish, the Sudanese ex-slave Simon Deng, and the Hindu human rights activist Babu Suseelan. There was Germano Riviera, who worked recovering remains from the ruins of the World Trade Center; Alan T. DeVona, the patrol sergeant on duty on September 11, 2001; and Keith LeBow, an ironworker who was one of the first responders on the scene on September 11. There was Herb London of the Hudson Institute and Beverly Carlson of the Band of Mothers — and a host of other speakers, all lovers of America and lovers of freedom.
The theme among all the speakers was common: the mosque is an insult to the Americans who were murdered there. It is a manifestation of a radically intolerant belief system that is incompatible with the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. And even with all the political elites against us, and the mainstream media indifferent or compromised (5,000 to 10,000 people at the rally, and no mainstream media coverage!), we will prevail. All we have on our side is the truth.
Pamela Geller did interviews with Al-Jazeera, AP, Chilean television, Italian television and many others; I was interviewed by Italian television and TV Asia. ABC? NBC? CBS? CNN? Even FOX? AWOL.
And the truth is powerful. The forecast had called for rain, but it didn’t start raining in New York until after the rally had broken up. Many took it as a sign that we represented the cause of right and justice. And even with all the indifference of the politicians and the media, we sent a signal today: we will not let this injustice stand. We will be rallying again in September, and again when construction begins on the mega-mosque. We will be filing suit against the Federal Government, asking that the Burlington Coat Factory site where the mega-mosque is going to be built be designated a war memorial, a la Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, etc., because of the part of one of the 9/11 airplanes that crashed into the roof there, and that is in the makeshift mosque that Muslims are using there now.
And above all: we will never give up.