Million Youth March Ends in Clash

Filed at 10:59 p.m. EDT

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Filled with fiery rhetoric against whites, Jews and police, the Million Youth March ended with a clash between police and ralliers after an organizer riled up the crowd Saturday.

At the end of the event billed as a black empowerment rally, organizer Khallid Abdul Muhammad called the police names and told participants to "beat the hell out of them with the railing if they so much as touch you."

"We have a right, a God given right, a constitutional right to defend ourselves against anyone who attacks us," said Muhammad, dismissed as an aide to Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan after a 1994 speech in which he referred to Jews as ``bloodsuckers" and insulted Pope John Paul II, homosexuals and whites.

Muhammad, who went minutes over a court-ordered time limit of four hours, told the thousands of participants to leave peacefully. As the crowd dispersed, a police helicopter flew in low, angering some members who threw bottles and other debris. Police said 16 officers and five civilians were injured.

Police in riot gear quickly took the stage while officers on horseback and motorcycles occupied the rally area in the city's Harlem neighborhood. A Dallas man was arrested on charges that include disorderly conduct. More arrests were expected.

More than 3,000 police officers were at the rally, which Mayor Rudolph Giuliani estimated about 6,000 people attended. Organizers had expected 50,000.

People of all ages came to the event, which triggered controversy earlier this summer when Giuliani denied organizers a permit, calling it a "hate march." A court said the event could go on, but scaled back its duration and size.

Giuliani said the march turned out to be precisely what he predicted, one ``filled with hatred, horrible, awful, vicious, anti-Semitic and other anti-white rhetoric, as well as exhortations to kill people, murder people. ... The speeches given today should not occur anyplace."

State Sen. David Paterson, a Harlem Democrat, said Muhammad should be arrested for exhorting young people to violence.

Some participants said they came to promote black unity, to speak out for an end to gang violence and in favor of reparations for descendants of slaves.

``We got people selling drugs on the corner, people carrying guns and people shooting each other where I live. I want to learn how to stop that," said Roland Samuels of Philadelphia.

But in the end, the dispute with city officials was the focal point for speakers.

Kendell Grant, 24, called the event ``the Million Police March."

"They are trying to provoke us," Grant said. "They are here to make Giuliani and his statement truthful. He wants a hate march."

Malik Zulu Shabazz, a rally organizer and one of its lawyers, said opponents to the march, whom he called "Uncle Tom, bootlicking, buck-dancing ... politicians," must be voted out of office.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people turned out in Atlanta for the Million Youth Movement, a weekend of workshops sponsored by civil rights groups including the NAACP, the Nation of Islam and Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/Push Coalition.

The event culminates with a march Monday through the city's historic district.

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