Students and activists upset about the New York Police Department's attempt to monitor Muslim student groups held a small, but loud rally Saturday on Wall Street.
The Fordham Law Muslim Students Association organized the picket outside an alumni association luncheon where Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was scheduled to appear as a guest speaker.
The protest drew about 60 people, carrying signs with slogans like "Protect me ... Don't profile me!"
"Not all Muslims are terrorists," said Pelin Serpin, a student studying international business at Baruch College. "Singling out Muslim students because of their religion is not what that they need to do. They can do better."
The demonstration followed Associated Press reports revealing that the NYPD has been keeping a close watch on Muslim student groups throughout the northeast U.S. Officers hunting for terrorist infiltrators monitored student websites, kept track of guest speakers and even sent an agent on a student whitewater rafting trip.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the intelligence gathering effort as legal, and not unnecessarily invasive of people's privacy. Kelly has declined to talk in detail about the exact steps police took to monitor Muslim groups whose weren't suspected of any crime, but has insisted that the steps were necessary to protect the public.
The alumni association event was closed to the media.