UPDATE: Terry Jones arrested ahead of planned Quran-burning
MULBERRY, Florida -- Neighbors living next to Loyce E. Harpe Park off West Carter Road in Polk County are not happy with Pastor Terry Jones' message to the religion of Islam.
"That guy is a jerk. He should not come here for his demonstration," said Rick O'Sani, a neighbor living near the park where Jones plans to burn 2,998 copies of the Quran to demonstrate his feelings about the Islam.
"He has a right to his freedom of speech, but that does not make it right," said O'Sani.
A Polk County spokesperson with the commissioner's office said Jones filed for a facilities use permit last Thursday but it's too late.
"He must have the facilities use permit in order to have that type of event in a county park," said Mianne Nelson, the county spokesperson.
"We responded to his email asking where he was planning to have his event in the park because it is a large park, but he did not respond back to us."
Jones said he plans to have the event whether the county allows it or not.
"That permit is just an excuse to not allow us to be there," said Jones over the phone with 10 News. "We are confident that we will do this and they cannot stop us from trying."
He said he is willing to be arrested for the sake of sharing his message.
Jones chose the Mulberry area because a supporter offered to allow him to use his private property several weeks ago for the demonstration when Jones made an announcement that he was looking for a location for his 9/11 demonstration.
"We did not choose Mulberry, Mulberry chose us," said Jones. "When one of our supporters offered his residence we liked that idea. But now that he has been threatened that he could lose his job if he holds it at his home, then we have decided to move it, but still want to use Mulberry because we have been saying Mulberry and we want to keep it there."
Suzanne Carter-Moore organized a Facebook group called "Not in Mulberry" when the first announcement came out that he was coming to Mulberry. Now she has 500 followers, and a group based out of Dallas called "Unity Day" is having their annual 9/11 event in Mulberry to create peace among all Americans.
"I am amazed at what one voice can do," said Suzanne Carter- Moore.
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