NPR logo A Gathering In Gainesville

America

A Gathering In Gainesville

I just got off the phone with Greg Allen, NPR's correspondent who is down in Gainesville, Fla. to cover the planned Quran burning there.

Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones  AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images) PAUL J. RICHARDS/Getty hide caption

toggle caption
PAUL J. RICHARDS/Getty

He says at the moment, it's mainly the media gathering there, though there are a lot of them. Not the biggest media scrum he's ever seen, but a big one — 3-4 satellite trucks, reporters from all over the world, people doing live shots.

A few men entered the Dove World Outreach Center building today who identified themselves as FBI, they did not make any comments to the press. Both Pastor Terry Jones and his associate pastor are saying they are carrying weapons because of death threats.

Allen said he is hearing that the rest of the churches in Gainesville have been unified by the growing furor. They've been holding interfaith services, saying that the Dove Center and Pastor Jones don't represent their city, or their faith.

The burning is scheduled for 6-9 on Saturday evening, and local police and residents are concerned how it might effect the other big event that day: the game between the University of Florida and the University of South Florida. 90,000 people are expected at the game, just a few miles away. Police are concerned that people attending the game may come to gawk at the burning. They're talking about setting up check points and only allowing residents in, but Greg says it's unlikely they'll block the streets.

NPR thanks our sponsors