Both supporters and opponents of the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero plan to take to the streets this weekend as Saturday marks the ninth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.
The proposed development, known as Park51, has brought about significant controversy in New York City and across the country.
Supporters of the development and civil rights activists are also organizing events for the weekend. Activist group New York Neighbors for American Values will hold a vigil on the evening of September 10. Beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the International Action Center will lead a march from City Hall to the intersection of Park Place and Church Street.
“We will take a message of unity and respect, of jobs and justice -- [it] is what we need, and not the message of hate that will be spewing forth from just a block down on West Broadway,” said Sara Flounder, one of the rally organizers.
Mosque opponents plan to congregate just one block away, at the intersection of West Broadway and Park Place, at 3 p.m. Saturday. The protest will be led by one of the center’s most outspoken opponents, blogger Pamela Geller. There will also be a candlelight vigil earlier that day at 1 p.m., led by Christian group Elijah Ministries, which opposes the development and mosque.