At least two people were arrested as counter-protesters to Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones stormed his demonstration in Dearborn Friday evening.
Jones, who is controversial worldwide for having burned a Quran in Florida, was in Dearborn, he said, to protest for free speech after he was arrested last week following court proceedings deciding whether he could protest outside the Islamic Center of America.
On Friday, Jones supporters–who numbered about 40 at their peak–were allowed by police to stand in front of City Hall, where Jones spoke. The several hundred counter-demonstrators were delegated across the street, in front of the Arab American National Museum.
Jones showed up to speak to media around 4:30 p.m., while counter-protesters began to gather with signs across the street. Jones began speaking just after 5 p.m., but was drowned out by hundreds of counter-protesters, who chanted such things as "Burn the Quran? Hell no! Terry Jones has got to go!"
Cars and semi-trucks driving by slowed down and honked their horns in support of the protest to Jones' speech, while some passengers leaned out of windows and sunroofs and yelled at Jones, giving him the middle finger.
Jones spoke out both against Sharia Law as well as what he sees as the oppresion of free speech in Dearborn.
"We have four free speech zones in Dearborn," he said. "Do we really need four? How about 3, or 2? Let's just not have any at all. That's where it's going."
Jones heckled counter-protesters from his podium, asking if there were any "tough guys" in the crowd, and warning them that "if you try to institute Sharia, you will face far more conflict than you are capable of handling."
Sharia law is Islamic law based on the teachings of the Quran, which Jones says is taking hold in the U.S.
Wayne Sapp, Jones cohort who was also arrested last week in Dearborn's 19th District Court, also spoke–not about free speech, but about religion and Islamic law, calling the counter-protesters "sick."
"What is Dearborn's identity?" Sapp said. "Is it Dearborn, Mich., U.S.A., or has it been transformed under Islamic law into something else?"
At around 6 p.m., Jones walked down the City Hall steps from the podium and up to the barriers set up by police. His instigation caused protesters to storm Michigan Avenue, throwing shoes and water bottles at Jones and his supporters.
Police in riot gear pushed the crowds back to try to control the scene, but at least two arrests were made.
Shortly after, Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly came outside and stood in front of the riot police, facing counter-protesters and silenty observing.
After Jones had left, O'Reilly told media that Jones had been asked not to come near the counter-protesters, and that O'Reilly believed he was instigating a riot.
"He's an antagonist. His goal is to start trouble," O'Reilly said. "He didn't succeed, and I'm glad."
O'Reilly called Jones an "uninformed person," and said the pastor's primary goal is to make money off of the controversy.
Jones has filed a lawsuit and an appeal to the court ruling that is currently barring him from protesting outside of the Islamic Center of America. He told media before Friday's protest that if the ruling is appealed, he will return to Dearborn again to hold his original protest outside of the mosque.