Million Bikers Ride Protest into Washington D.C.

By: WUSA/CBS
By: WUSA/CBS

Wednesday's most visible 9/11 remembrance in the D.C. area was a very large gathering of motorcyclists that did not come without controversy.

The so-called "2 Million Bikers To DC" ride was fueled by patriotism -- but also by anger -- at being denied a permit to conduct a counter demonstration to another controversial event in the city.

An estimated 10-thousand bikers -- rallying around the mall and memorials in downtown Washington. This was the ride dubbed "2 Million Bikers Ride 2 DC."

The parade of riders stretched miles on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway in Maryland, organized on Facebook as a counter demonstration to what was originally dubbed the "Million Muslim March" on the mall, an event that morphed into a relatively small gathering called the "Million Americans Against Fear."

But the anger that fueled this 9-11 biker rally was clear.

The bikers gathered early at the Harley Davidson of Washington dealership in Fort Washington, Prince George's County.

Angry, the group had been denied a permit to parade in Washington by the National Park Service, which cited a potential severe disruption of traffic and fears the event would negatively impact other visitors.

Themes of patriotism and remembrance for 9-11 victims ran deep, but so did politics, which caught some bystanders by surprise.

Once on the road, it took an hour to clear the estimated 10-thousand bikes out of Fort Washington, resulting in an extended closure of Indianhead Highway. By the time they were at the mall, the riders had broken into groups, the ride loud, big and peaceful.


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