Yesterday, two groups of protesters faced off over the controversial mosque and community center proposed for 45-47 Park Place. Hundreds of people were there—the anti-mosque folks had props (a fake missile) and a patriotic mix tape (yes, "Born on the U.S.A." was included). Here's a sampling of what was shouted or written on signs:

  • Supporters: "America! When did it become OK to be a bigot!" "Hallowed ground, that's a lie!" Opponents: "Obama, your middle-name is Hussain [sic], we understand. Bloomberg, what's your excuse." [Daily News]
  • Supporters: "Fascists get out!" "Stop the fear and hate." Opponents, while chanting "USA!": "No clubhouse for terrorists." [NY Post]
  • "Thousands of people died here. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do."—Jersey City resident Bob Brennan [NY Post]
  • "It’s a disgrace to have a mosque at this sacred site."—Kali Costas, Tea Party member [NY Times]
  • "Land of the free. Stop sharia before it stops you." "No mosque here. Preserve the dignity of our loved ones killed on 9/11." [CNN]
  • "The mosque shouldn't be here! ...There is an un-Godly, unholy thing gonna go up two blocks away from this site. Absolutely not!"—Barry Bledsoe, a West Virginia resident who brought his 9-year-old son to the protest [Daily News]
  • "We support religious freedom but at some point in our lives, we have to have a little common sense, and a little sensitivity."—retired firefighter Daryl Patterson [WCBS 2]

The Times also noted that one supporter of the project, medical student Michael Rose, held a sign that said, "Religious tolerance is what makes America great": "An argument broke out, punctuated by angry fingers pointed in the student’s face. One man, his cheeks red, leaned in and hissed that if the police were not present, Mr. Rose would be in danger." The police took Rose away; later on, the red-cheeked man apologized, "You have a right. I am sorry for what I said to you. I disagree with you completely, but you have a right." Good times!