'2 Million Bikers,' Christian Activists Confront 9/11 Gathering Formerly Called the 'Million Muslim March'

Rage and anger greet handful of protesters challenging post-9/11 'politics of fear.'

Participants of the “2 Million Bikers to D.C.” motorcycle rally drive north along 14 Street past the Washington Monument  on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Washington, D.C. (Steven Nelson for USN&WR)

Participants of the “2 Million Bikers to D.C.” motorcycle rally drive north along 14th Street past the Washington Monument on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

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He wasn't alone in his fervency. "You must repent, only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin," shouted a woman at non-Christian protesters.

Speakers at the “Million American March Against Fear” stand on a stage in the National Mall on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Washington, D.C. (Steven Nelson for USN&WR)

Kevin Barrett, a skeptic of the official 9/11 account and a key event organizer, told attendees he'd like to have a similar gathering on the Mall every year on Sept. 11.

"We want to come back every year," he said, speculating that at some future point one million Americans might turn out against post-9/11 government policies.

The Missouri-based American Muslim Political Action Committee called for the protest in 2012. It was renamed in February, when non-Muslim groups asked to join.

Jewish Americans joined both protesters and counter protesters. David Hershbaum of Arlington, Va., supported the protest and read a verse from Psalms on stage while David Little of Florida - who flew in for the event - held an Israeli flag in opposition.

Christians, too, spoke against fear and against post-9/11 policies. West loudly said "I love Jesus" and retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard spoke about working with Muslim and Jewish clerics to receive the remains of 9/11 victims in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

"Silence is a parenthesis around these occasions," Packard said, expressing his satisfaction that this year was different. He welcomed the counter protesters and offered a prayer. "Oh God, Allah, we thank you for this day, as hot as it is," he said.

 

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