Members of the NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia, and other activists who are very concerned over the fearmongering and hatred being spread around the Country, joined forces at Park Place and Church Street on Sunday, November 7th. The Jewish Defense League had gathered to denounce the proposed building of the Park51 Islamic Center a block away.
Several of us from the Coalition attended, but there appeared to be a spark of interest from many others who heard about our counter-protest and joined us. A woman from Brooklyn, who is an African-American Muslim, and has been in fear for her life came out and spoke about people attacking her when she wears traditional Muslim apparel. She stopped wearing it on the streets in fear of her life. She spoke about how grateful she was that we had been there to support and defend her.
Several Bard college students drove down to participate with us, and spoke out about what is happening not only with the Park51 proposal, but all over the Country.
College students who were visiting the area from Chicago attempting to complete a documentary about the topic of Islamophobia in America, noticed us and joined us immediately. They said they were searching for people to speak to inside of Park51, as well as outside over the weekend, but did not see much activity until we showed up. We had a student from Van Couver join us, and a member of Veterans for Peace.
NY1 covered the event the entire time we were out there, as well as the Daily News and the Post. There were about 35 people there, from all walks of life, very concerned about the direction this Country has headed, and wanting to voice their opposition to bigotry and racism.