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.

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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