Here's the latest in our protest and march for respect and understanding. Signs are important: "Ground Zero is a war memorial," "Ground Zero is sacred ground," "No Mosque on the Gravesite":
LOWER MANHATTAN — Less than 72 hours before a large protest against the ground zero mosque, both the demonstrators and the police are making final plans.
The D-Day protest, which will likely draw hundreds of people, starts at noon on Sunday at the corner of Church and Liberty Streets, across from the World Trade Center site.
The NYPD’s 1st Precinct has called in extra officers from the Borough Manhattan South Patrol, and the NYPD is finalizing crowd control plans, a police official told DNAinfo.
“We’re absolutely aware of it,” the official said. “We’re working with the organization to make sure it goes smoothly.”
Stop Islamization of America, the group organizing the protest, objects to the planned 13-story mosque and community center, called Cordoba House, that is slated to rise on the site of the former Burlington Coat Factory building on Park Place.
“Ground zero is a war memorial, a burial ground,” Pamela Geller, executive director of SIOA, said in an e-mail to DNAinfo this week. “A mosque is incredibly insensitive.
SIOA originally planned to demonstrate in Zuccotti Park this Sunday. But Brookfield Properties, the owner of the plaza, revoked the permit when the nature of the event became clear.
Now, SIOA plans to protest at one corner of the plaza, on the public sidewalk. As long as they do not block the sidewalk or the street, or spill into the plaza, they do not need a permit.
The group does need a city permit for their sound amplification system, which should be approved by the end of the week, the NYPD official said.
The protestors plan to carry American flags and sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “God Bless America.