Riot Police Respond as Counter-Protesters Storm Terry Jones' Demonstration

About 400 people gathered to protest Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones on Friday in Dearborn. At least two people were arrested.

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 following court proceedings deciding whether he could protest outside the

On Friday, Jones supporters–who numbered about 40 at their peak–were allowed by police to stand in front of , where Jones spoke. The several hundred counter-demonstrators were delegated across the street, in front of the .

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 , 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 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.

Dorothy Bourassa April 29, 2011 at 11:02 PM
I am so disappointed that people even acknowledged his presence. Mr. Jones (I cannot refer to him as a Pastor), is an embarrassment to all religions & believers of a higher power. He has the right to express himself, however, why does he choose to do it in a place where he knows full well that it will not be received in a possitive light?
Kathy April 30, 2011 at 02:17 AM
Dan...thugs and savages???? rushed and attacked???? had to be restrained??? were you there? did you see the video? they came across the street toward Jones in response to him coming down the steps toward them...they did NOT attack and they were not restrained, just redirected by the police. Two people were arrested but no one was hurt or attacked. Check your language. Whenever there is hate speech there is an emotional response, doesn't matter what the race or religion of the crowd. By the way, there were many non Muslims in the crowd of counter protestors.
Melissa White April 30, 2011 at 02:57 AM
Wow. Can't believe this guy. Every Arab American that I know is happy to be here, grateful and proud to be an American in a free America. If they weren't, they'd go back home. Which, by the way, most Arabic people in this area are NOT from countries where they are governed by Sharia law. Most Arabs here would be horrified at the prospect of living under Sharia. This idiot is just trying to make people afraid of something they don't know about - which is what hate-mongers do. They capitalize on fear of the unknown. What he is doing is anti-American. He is an embarrassment. I really don't care about his rights. He doesn't deserve them. Please, ignore him and let him talk to himself. Maybe he'll find someone else to hate. Seems that's all he's good at.
Dan Seidel April 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM
Good morning Patch - seems some comments and replies have disappeared - do not know if that is glitch (it has happened on other Patch sites) or deliberate censorship - if censored, well that proves the point of America going dhimmi. Kathy: Yes, thugs and savages - I was on the receiving end of many a demonstration where "my side" had been charged (mounted police included) and attacked - people charging thru barricades IS an attack. People throwing debris at other humans IS an attack - more should have been arrested. Real Americans do not do that - you do not beat others. There is no civil war. As for Jones "coming down the steps" - JONES IS IN AN AREA WHERE THE MUNICPALITY SAID HE HAD TO BE" - he followed the law - I saw no video where Jones rushed the other side. did you? So he walks down the stairs - THAT is a "provocation"? GIMME A BREAK LADY!!! I may not like what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - remember that one? ANYONE would would trample upon the 1st Amendment and our Bill of Rights IS A THUG AND SAVAGE. I do not have to wait for Itamar butchery in the States to know what ilk like that really are and stand for. I've been fighting creeps like that in the courts and public arena my entire life - you should too. THAT is Americanism!!! GO read the Federalist Papers, Thomas Paine and the rest of the principles and ideas upon which this great nation was founded - gain insight into where you live and what a special place this is!!!
Mary Jo Durivage April 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM
I'm with you Dorothy. I was on a Michhigan Ave. bus that had to literally turn around on Michigan Ave. to take a detour and get to Greenfield. There were many people who were missing appointments etc., including showing up for work. If no one had shown up to protest Jones, there would not have been a problem. Isn't that what our mom used to tell us when somone called us a name - just ignore them and they will go on to someone else.
Dan Seidel April 30, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Just re-reading the article - IF the mayor said those things I think HE needs a few course in Constitutional Law and who can say what and where and who the police and society are supposed to protect - even if the speech is "provocative", Jones has the right to use a soapbox. Like many people say here: you do not like it? ignore it, walk away, turn the channel - do not get sucked in. Now go work on finding a cheap energy source that is clean, renewable and sustainable.
Abhay April 30, 2011 at 02:53 PM
As much as Terry Jones may have the legal right, I praise the people who ignored him. That's is the surest way to make him go away.
Ismail Bachir April 30, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Once again Dan, You are correct and I continue to value your point of view as you keep religion out of your conversations. Good job and thanks for sharing. They should just simply ignore him.
Dan Seidel April 30, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Hey Ismail, thanks. If only other folks would wake up to this - gotta keep religion and blind emotions out of politics. Everybody has to take the blinders off and see that we all bleed red and we are all in this together. More concerned with our gov't not monitoring the Fukushima fallout and our food supply from California (its the leafy vegetables that get this stuff - alpha and beta particles not good for ingestion!!). Keep up this work in progess - education and tolerance is key to this process - America needs to learn the law all over again - we have become complacent.
Frank Lee April 30, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Way to speak truth to power Jack. Jones is probably the least liked individual in Dearborn, way to take a stand and call this guy out. What a tough guy you are Jack standing in front of riot police eyeballing an ignorant discredited hillbilly. Thirty years of public service and you have never taken a stand that did not involve taken pools away from children, or pesky Christian missionaries . You lost the pool battle and had to pay the ACLU $180,00 in legal fees for violating the missionaries constitutional rights. Grow up and be a real mayor, you have a face for radio anyhow.
Dan Seidel May 01, 2011 at 02:32 PM
To all, this is part of what is being "tweeted" on various twitter pundit sites: http://bit.ly/keTUqo If the Courts have decided before, why all this nonsense? and then the second question is : how to handle the "stats"? If true, what do they say? I smell danger for America if true. Am I wrong? Moral story: My son once got beaten up on a school bus - he held back because of what we taught at home - do not hit (yes defend, but do not hit - it was confusing) and let the "authorities" handle it. After the first time, I told him do not hit FIRST (if you can avoid it!), but if you hit, make sure the other guy/gal does not get up. No more teaching to be 100% Eloi (fail) anymore - we are now 1/2 Morlock (for the non readers or those who did not "have to read this in English" - H.G.Wells, "Time Machine" cultural reference). As we say: The Second Amendment backs up the First!! cliche for the day: The Price of Freedom is Etenal Vigilance!!
Phillip S Smith May 01, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Phil Smith Mr. Jones has the right to speak due to the Freedom of Speech, however I do not believe that he should burn the Quran, he does have Freedom of Speech, whether it be in Dearborn or elsewhere. I was there, everything was calm. I was near the Mayor until the Middle Eastern people on the Northern side of Michigan Avenue started to storm the gate and across Michigan Ave., the Mayor tried to calm them down, there were more police officials there to assist even from outside communities to support Dearborn, that is working together. The other factor to this, is why be allowed to protest in front of City Hall, many businesses get hurt by the protest in ways of loss of business, take the protest area to an open area say on Greenfield and Michigan Avenue, there is only two business there vs 20 to 30 that lose business due to the protest in front of City Hall. Use logic. The other reason Jones was here is due to the large population of the Middle Eastern Decent, what happens next California where the next largest populus is.
awojoone May 02, 2011 at 01:19 AM
We just witnessed the true colors of muslims and arabs in general HATE hate and more hate. You are here in a FREE country ALL Americans have freedom of speech and religion. DO NOT tell me what to believe in . To the protestors THANK GOD you were not {you should have been arrested] thrown in jail and the key thrown away. I feel sick knowing you can do this in my country . LEAVE the sooner the better go hate somewhere else not in my country.
Kathy May 02, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Wow...awojoone....you have shown how little you understand people. Just because you counter protest someone does not mean you have nothing but hate. Nor does it mean they are telling you what to believe in. If that's the case, you could say the same about Terry Jones - he is preaching hate and trying to tell you what to believe in. The counter protest was not violent - my husband and daughter were there (both Irish Catholics). Arab Americans have the right to react just as other groups react when a protest is aimed at them. Calm down and quit hating people you know nothing about.
laplateau May 05, 2011 at 05:43 PM
I abhor the hate mesaages that come from a "supposed Christian"...I emphasize SUPPOSED. I do believe that his point is to be "in your face" with his speech, but remember, it IS free speech! If other SUPPOSED Christians have the right to protest the funerals of those brave soldiers who have given their life for this country, carrying the most dispicbale messages on their signs, something that most recently was upheld by the Supreme Court, then Terry jones certainly has the right to balther on with his right to do something equally dispicable. What bothers me on this thing is the reaction by those gathered at the site, the jeering, the yelling, the hatred, the vitriole, curse words and vile language as well as those middle finger gestures. What a show of LOW class. I understand that Arabs would not be very amenable to what Mr. Jones had to say, but there have been NUMEROUS times Arab organizations have demonmstarted for their own viewpoints at the very same spot. Never have I heard about non-Arabs..Jew, Christian, or any group ever reacting in the same fashion. As a matter of fact, I don't believe there was ever any type of reaction. The Arab community does itself NO favor from behavior like this. They acted and said things worse fashion than what Mr. Jones said. There is absoluteluy no defense for this. They AND Mr. Jones should be ashamed of themselves!
LadyGreenEyes June 26, 2011 at 04:32 AM
Dan, glad someone here shows some sense! To most of the rest - get a clue. Pastor Jones has a legal and Constitutional right to protest, and to burn a koran. Period. NO ONE has a right to not be offended by the free speech of others. Pastor Jones and his group did NOT throw rocks, bottles, shoes, etc, at the "counter protesters", but the Muslim side showed their true colors. Jones is telling the truth; that Muslims react in violence to all that disagree with them, and the opposition - not counter protesters, but terrorists - proved his point quite effectively. The city officials basically condoned this violation of the Jones' groups free speech. Of course, having zones for free speech, in AMERICA, is messed up to begin with. Dearborn, wise up - vote these anti-American politicians OUT already.
Frank Lee June 27, 2011 at 04:00 AM
Yes Terry Jones has a right to free speech. Yes the mayor of Dearborn botched handling the Terry Jones protest. However just as Terry Jones has a right to free speech so do those who protest Terry Jones. The second appearance of Jones in Dearborn showed his true colors. As soon as he met resistance he crumpled like a linen suit and ran away. If he was anything more than a grifter and an opportunist he would have stood his ground. Dearborn has a strong history of people protesting meeting resistance and standing firm, and paying the ultimate price. Jones is just a small time con man looking for a mark, when his bluff was called he caved. Furthermore the individuals harassing Jones were not Islamic but professional agitators. So yes jones has a right to free speech, but it would mean so much more if he was not such a blatant coward, hiding behind the Dearborn Police


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