Tens of thousands of bikers rode through Washington D.C. today as part of a counter-demonstration called "2 Million Bikers" against the "Million Americans Against Fear," formerly known as "Million Muslim March"; the bikers also wanted to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 during the terrorist attacks.
The ride began at Harley Davidson of Washington in Fort Washington, Md., at 11 a.m. The bikes rolled in a steady stream for 50 straight minutes before heading to the Beltway.
"[O]n September 11th, we ride as one!!" the group said. "We ride to pay tribute and offer respect to those that lost their lives on that day 12 years ago, and to salute our troops engaged in the War on Terror. Riders!...we are the best of the best in America!! Our love for these people and this country is staggering, and we will make a display of Patriotism and solidarity America won't soon forget!!"
Meanwhile, the "Million Americans Against Fear" had only a couple hundred participants, who walked down the streets around noon time. The organizers of the rally said the purpose of the March is about civil rights, indefinite detention and countering inaccurate depictions of Islam and Muslims. "Muslim[s] and Non-Muslims[s] alike were traumatized" when the plane struck the twin towers 12 years ago.
Although the bikers will be allowed to convene in in D.C., the organizers were denied a no-stop permit, which would have allowed them to ride through D.C. without having to obey traffic signals, according to a statement released on Sunday.
Denial of the permit sparked outrage on the biker group's website because D.C. reportedly has granted the AMPAC for their rallies for Wednesday on the National Mall.
"We did the right thing and went through the proper channels to secure a no-stop permit to ride through your great city," the groups said Sunday. "We wanted to ride an established route, which would have taken us past the Viet Nam Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial, across the bridge into Virginia, and that's it! We would have been completely out of Washington DC, and your city would have been back to normal."
The bikers aren't planning to confront the Muslim group, however. "We are going to have a peaceful ride," the national ride coordinator Belinda Bee told the Washington Times.
The video can be watched here.