There is a big misunderstanding sweeping the forwards and blogs lately about how, supposedly, a large gathering of a million Muslims protesting about unauthorized surveillance was somehow granted the right to assemble, while a group of 2 million bikers’ permit request to assemble for a counter-event was rejected. So much of that is false.
The “2 Million Bikers to DC” group applied for a very specific “no stop” permit that would allow their bikers (of 2000 in number, not 2 million, according to the National Park Service, which had jurisdiction over the request) to have a waiver on all traffic lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals. The manpower required to enforce such a widespread event that take place all over the city as opposed to a relatively small area by comparison for gathering. The permit requested was just to ride through it unimpeded by traffic signals, rather than to assemble. The bikers would have plenty authority to simply ride through but obey the traffic signals, as normal.
The Metropolitan Police Department “also says that the city’s denial will not prevent the group’s members from riding on city streets — they just won’t have a police escort.” (9/11 motorcycle ride denied permits for non-stop trek in D.C., WTOP.com).
The other gathering of Muslims marching to the National Mall to protest unauthorized monitoring had their permit approved — but for a completely different kind of permit. Drawing comparison to the two is ludicrous. The Muslim group was not asking the city to suspend laws so their gathering could take place, but the bikers were.