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Sat June 18, 2011
Things don't go as planned for anti-Islam activist
From the Detroit Free Press:
After railing at Dearborn City Hall against Muslims and African Americans, Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters were thwarted Friday in their plans to speak out at a nearby Arab-American festival after a group of angry protesters confronted him. But a group of Christians sympathetic to Jones did rally at
the festival later, hurling insults through a megaphone at people attending the festival.
"Dearborn has made it clear: Racist bigots aren't welcome here," shouted a small group of protesters who surrounded Jones as he tried to walk up Schaefer Avenue near City Hall. Earlier, Jones had led a rally
against Islam, where several pastors and a rabbi -- all from out of state -- spoke about what they saw as the threat of Islam in the U.S.
Jones sported sunglasses, a bulletproof vest and a T-shirt that read: "Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9-11."
"We stand up for the Constitution," he said during his rally at City Hall.
Afterward, he tried to walk the 2 miles to the Arab festival, but had to keep changing directions as protesters -- mostly non- Muslims with the group By Any Means Necessary -- blocked his path.
After a few minutes of shouting and minor scuffling, Jones decided to not continue and canceled his plans to walk and speak at the festival. Dearborn police swarmed in to whisk Jones and his assistant pastor,
Wayne Sapp, into a police car.
Police arrested six counter-protesters, ages 18-22. Three of them were men, three were women, Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad said. Five of the six arrested were not from Dearborn, indicating that
Dearborn residents largely stayed away, Haddad said.
Mayor John O'Reilly criticized both Jones and BAMN protesters for being outsiders who were disturbing the peace in his city.