By Julie Shapiro
LOWER MANHATTAN — Opponents of the mosque and community center near Ground Zero are planning a major rally in Lower Manhattan on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Conservative blogger Pamela Geller, executive director of Stop Islamization of America, announced the rally on her blog this week.
"Book September 11th — we will be holding our second annual freedom rally for our war dead and to protest the 15-story mega mosque going up on Ground Zero," Geller wrote. "Be there. Join us on the tenth anniversary of that bloody, brutal day when jihad came to America."
Geller organized a similar event just north of the World Trade Center site last Sept. 11, drawing more than 1,000 supporters but sparking protests from 9/11 family members who felt the demonstration was inappropriate.
Geller said she decided to organize another rally because Park51, the Muslim community center, is still moving forward with plans to start programming.
Park51 hopes to launch its first public exhibit on Sept. 21, showcasing Danny Goldfield's NYChildren project, which features photos of children from dozens of countries living in New York City.
Park51 needs to raise $70,000 to build a gallery at its 51 Park Place headquarters, but more than a week after soliciting donations on Kickstarter, the group has only collected about $4,000.
Geller said she is also protesting the fact that the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed on 9/11, is still struggling to find a place to rebuild.
The church is embroiled in a legal battle with the Port Authority over land swaps and a timeline for rebuilding.