Pastor Jones Elicits Minimal Response at Dearborn City Hall
Jones and supporters gathered at City Hall just after noon Friday, but counter-protest turnout was relatively low.
UPDATE: Six were arrested after Jones marched toward the Arab International Festival and was met with a mob of protesters. Read more here: http://patch.com/A-j07l
Just before 1 p.m. at Dearborn City Hall, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" blasted on repeat over loudspeakers set up by Florida Pastor Terry Jones and supporters.
As promised, Quran-burning Jones and a handful of supporters from his organization, Stand Up America Now, had come to hold an anti-Sharia–or Islamic law–rally in Dearborn, meant to coincide with the start of the city's Arab International Festival.
But the response from counter-protesters was not nearly what the group came up against when holding a similar rally in April in Dearborn, when hundreds showed up to speak out against Jones.
Dearborn police officers and members of the media outnumbered counter-protesters, most of whom were representing the activist organization BAMN–By Any Means Necessary. Around 30-40 people with signs stood near City Hall and across Michigan Avenue, shouting "Dearborn has made it clear; racist bigots not welcome here."
Jones and his supporters addressed them.
"(Our opponents) said we would be so afraid (by the number of protesters), we would flee Dearborn," Jones said. "We are not fleeing."
"You're a bunch of young, hyped-up, overexcited young people," Pastor Wayne Sapp, who came with Jones, told their opponents from the steps of City Hall. "You don't know nothing."
Jones called his supporters up to the fence before the rally began, urging them to demonstrate peacefully.
Greg, a Dearborn resident and Detroit native who came out to support Jones, said he came out to the rally to voice him opinions against Arabic culture.
"I am against all Arabs around here–the Arab culture," he said, adding that he only lived in Dearborn because he "has no other place to live."