The 10,000 Man March

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NEW YORK CITY: One year after the Million Man March in Washington Louis Farrakhan said the event was largely responsible for a downturn in crime. "I know Clinton wants to take credit for it," said Farrakhan. "I know the police want to take credit for it. The real truth is that the spirit of the Million Man March should take credit for it." Farrakhan says that one reason new FBI figures show a three percent decline in violent crimes this year is because the at least 400,000 men who attended the Washington march pledged to "never raise my hand with a knife or a gun to beat or cut or shoot any member of my family or any human being." Farrakhan spoke before a crowd of 10,000 in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at his World Day of Atonement. Like last year's event, the rally became a flashpoint for debate around the controversial figure of Farrakhan, the event's organizer and keynote speaker. One group critical of Farrakhan, the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, filed court papers Tuesday asking authorities to either revoke the rally's permit or allow their group to demonstrate on the edge of the rally. New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stayed away from the rally and added a harsh denunciation of Farrakhan. "Whatever point is trying to be made is dwarfed by Farrakhan's rhetoric of hatred, rhetoric of division, which is unrelenting," he said. But organizers contend that the rally was meant to bring together men, women, and children of all ethnic groups for a day of prayer and introspection. The Reverend Al Sharpton, Winnie Mandela, former NAACP president Benjamin Chavis, and civil right activist and comedian Dick Gregory also spoke at the rally, which, although not as large as the 20,000 Farrakhan had hoped for, still overwhelmed midtown Manhattan for much of the day. -->