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Police in Washington say bikers can hold Sept. 11 ride without permit

Sept. 11, 2013 at 1:12 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A contingent of bikers has been denied a permit for a proposed ride around Washington to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Wednesday.

But police say "2 Million Bikers to D.C." can ride around the city, WTOP-FM reported. They will, however, have to stop at red lights and will not have a police escort.

In spite of its name, the group is expected to bring around 2,000 people on motorcycles to the capital. Its permit requests were turned down both by the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall and national monuments, and the Metropolitan Police Department.

The MPD told WTOP the group was asked to move its ride to a weekend, when it would be less disruptive to traffic.

"Solely to facilitate the speed and timeliness of the participants in itself does not fall within the definition of a First Amendment assembly," police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump told the station in an email. "The activity was viewed as expressive."

The group has been invited to join a "Justice for Benghazi" rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

At least two other groups plan demonstrations Wednesday. The American Muslim Political Action Committee's "Million American March Against Fear" has a permit for the mall, while an anti-war group, the Answer Coalition, plans a rally on Freedom Plaza, the National Park Service said.

The bikers group is scheduled to start its ride at a Harley-Davidson dealership in suburban Maryland. The exact route into and around Washington has not been announced.

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Topics: Sept. 11
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