Despite being denied a permit to ride motorcycles through Washington D.C., thousands of bikers took to the nation's capital to protest the "Million Muslim March," a tiny, fringe event magnified by recent conservative outrage.
A Facebook page for the event describes the bike ride as "a patriotic event to honor the memory of those lost to us on 9-11-2001." An earlier post on the group's Facebook page said the group "changed the theme of this event from a protest [of the "Million Muslim March" to a ride on purpose!"
WTOP reports the bikers were denied police escorts and no-stop permits by the National Park Service and the Metropolitan Police Department because the ride would cause major disruption to traffic on a regular workday in Washington. The permit denial sparked a controversy, the Washington Times reported earlier:
Denial of the permit sparked outrage on the biker group’s website because the District of Columbia reportedly has granted the American Muslim Political Action Committee a permit for the Million Americans Against Fear rally, formerly known as the Million Muslim March, for Wednesday on the National Mall, the PAC announced Saturday.
The American Muslim Political Action Committee did hold a "Million American March Against Fear" Wednesday on the Mall, but fewer than 30 people showed up to the event.
The Million American March against Fear should be renamed the 21 person march... pic.twitter.com/pSA798hpJO
— BuzzFeedBenny (@bennyjohnson) September 11, 2013
Small gathering at march against fear on national mall pic.twitter.com/tNm5umYrHg
— John Aaron (@JohnAaronWTOP) September 11, 2013
The Million Muslim March in DC fell about 999,990 people short. More media than attendees... pic.twitter.com/NL1uIlgzwZ
— Joe Schoffstall (@JoeSchoffstall) September 11, 2013
The DCist reports the "Million American March" encountered other counter-protesters, including a woman shouting "no Sharia law!" NBC Washington reports other people were there with signs saying "Muhammad is a liar."
Watch a video of the bikers above. (via NBC Washington)
This post has been updated.