Updated 3:37 p.m. ET, 10/13/2013
Washington (CNN) - Angered by the closure of national landmarks due to the partial government shutdown, a crowd of conservatives removed barricades Sunday at the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial as they rallied against President Barack Obama and Democrats for their role in the ongoing stalemate.
High-profile speakers with close ties to the tea party appeared at the event, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
The rally, billed as the "Million Vet March on the Memorials," drew far fewer than a million people and evolved into a protest that resembled familiar tea party events from 2009, with yellow "Don't Tread On Me" flags throughout the crowd and strong anti-Obama language from the podium and the audience.
One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim and separately urged the crowd of hundreds to initiate a peaceful uprising.
"I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up," said Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group.
Shutdown drags on: 'It's taken far too long'
On the first day of the government shutdown, October 1, a group of World War II veterans was barred from entering the open-air memorial. But with the help of a few Republican members of Congress, the veterans removed the barricades and streamed onto the site, as security guards stood aside.
The Department of Interior has since said that veterans with the Honor Flight program will be permitted to visit the memorial as part of their First Amendment rights, but otherwise the site is closed to the general public until the government reopens.
Veterans groups to push to end government shutdown
Cruz, the senator who's become the face of the Republican stance in the shutdown, attacked the Obama administration for fencing off the memorial and other national monuments, saying the closures were nothing but a political ploy.
"This is the people's memorial. Let me ask a simple question. Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?" he asked. "Our veterans should be above politics. Enough games."
Demonstrators removed the barricades Sunday at the rally, tossing them into a pile nearby. After the speeches, the crowd wandered down to the nearby Lincoln Memorial and removed its barriers as well. When some officers tried to put them back up, protesters took them from the officers' hands and carried them away from the memorial.
"You look around though and you see these barricades and you have to ask yourself, is this any way that a commander in chief would show his respect, his gratitude to our military? This is a matter of shutdown priorities," Palin said.
RNC offers to pay for WWII memorial guards
Anti-Obama sentiments echoed throughout the crowd Sunday, with one protester yelling out "punk" to describe the president and one speaker saying Obama is not the president of "the" people but "his" people. Multiple signs read "Impeach Obama."
Asked last week whether the White House had any say in the closure of the World War II Memorial, spokesman Jay Carney said Republicans were at fault.
"Every House Republican who has decried any impact from this shutdown, as if they were surprised that it would happen, clearly didn't pay attention when every agency of the federal government posted on their websites ... what would happen if the government were shut down, including the closing of national memorials and national parks," he said at a press briefing.
"If any member of Congress who got in front of a television camera to try to get some attention on this issue spent half that time on the floor of the House voting to open the government, we wouldn't have a problem," he added.
Photo by Brian Rokus
Later on Sunday, some people from the rally walked over to Pennsylvania Avenue carrying the barricades and dumped them in front of the White House. While they gathered peacefully for the most part, some were more vocal and shouted at police on horseback. "You work for us," some chanted.
At one point, some pushing and shoving took place as police in riot gear began to put up some barricades in front of part of the White House fence.
Tourists were also among the mix Sunday, taking pictures as normal, while others simply came out of curiosity.
Ashley Killough wrote; Shannon Travis and Brian Rokus reported from the National Mall and the White House. CNN's Jim Acosta also contributed from the White House.
So Obama's Department of Interior is in fact denying Americans their First Amendment rights except they've caved to Republicans who fought for for Honor Flight vets! SHAMEFUL! What country is this anyway? It sure doesn't resemble the USA.
Don't even understand why Obama is getting blamed for the shutdown. He didn't veto anything. He did not use executive order to shut down the government. Now Boehner? His policy of not allowing a vote on ANYTHING unless it is supported by a majority of HIS party, has caused this. Mr. Boehner, you are the the Speaker of the House. Not solely of the speaker of the GOP. You have the power to allow a vote today on the clean spending bill that has already passed the Senate. The Govennment can reopen tomorrow.
You do realize that Congress passed numerous spending bills, it was the SENATE that did not pass them!!! But we are talking about liberals so nothing is their fault right???? Not, this is ALL their fault!! Man the ignorance of most commenters on here is scary, and they are allowed to vote is the even more frightening thing!
The president is not a Kenyan Muslim Marxist. He's just an incompetent, arrogant failure.
Very well said, 100% agreed!
Palin, Cruz and that fruitcake talking about the quaran – what a case of the stupid leading the stupid! The country is getting sick and tired of those nuts and the next election will prove it.
The Moe, Larry, and Curly of the loony-tune right. Except they aren't funny.
"...that Klayman, and others, who likely identify themselves as conservative/traditional "christians"..." - They can identify themselves as whatever they want, but they're simply just racists.
People forget that the president did bow for a Muslim king.
Did Klayman run out of Clintons to sue? Haven't heard that name since the 90's. To a poster that said he didn't see any confederate flags-you are wrong. There were photos of it everywhere.
This wasn't a Republican Rally or a Tea Party Rally, it was Veteran Rally and if the authors would have actually attended the rally instead of using tired old left-influenced rhetoric, they would have seen people from all races there. The point wasn't to call for anyone's removal from office, it was a call for ALL elected officials to STOP using veterans and the military as political pawns. The fact that some political factions showed up to use this event to their advantage is unfortunate but, and here is the thing I think you liberals rally hate–it is their 1st amendment right to do so. Just like it is your right to report partial facts and liberal drivel.............
Yes, this one guy was a loon. Unfortunately, CNN chose to center the story on him and not on the thousands of veterans protesting our president's handling of the partial shutdown. Political agenda much, there, CNN? Might have something to do with the sky high ratings (sarcasm).
Listening to that man truly made me ill to my stomach. I truly thought we were beyond this, but I was wrong. It addens me that there is this much hate in the world.
Why does someone, making this kind of statement about our President, make it to front page CNN news? And then why do I read it....
Putting down ALL books of mythology and their ancient evils would be a good thing...
Klayman is not a veteran, neither is Palin or Cruz. They are political hacks who will jump at any chance to get some spot light. As a Gulf War vet who is also the son of a Veitnam vet and the grandson of a man who fought in the Argonne Forest in WWII I am in support of people having the right to say what they want. As a US citizen I am saddened by the rampant stupidity Klayman displayed. The last president I recall seeing kneeling in a mosque was George "The Great Invader" Bush.
There is no cure for stupid. At least these people are showing their signs.
That group is a joke, stop giving them so much media coverage. They are not intelligent enough to know how to use it in a constructive manner.
They are also a minority of the country that only thrives in the back wooded areas. The same places that were the last to fight for the revolution, and the first to fight to keep slavery. They are a stain in our beautiful country.
Who cares what they think? All they ever add up to is an impingement on progress. Speed bump we have always gone over. Good always triumphs over them. Just ignore them as much as possible. All you can do.
Rallier and Palin and others, stop putting Obama down! The world is laughing at your dumb antics, and is taking notes
Freedom of religion (as long as it's the same as mine). Hypocrisy at its best.
Hey folks...get over it! Obama is the POTUS! Now lets work together to resolve the issues. United States is not a Christian Nation! The US cares about one thing..money! If you don't have any..shame on you.
Hey.. Way to go voters on your awesome selection of candidates to destroy the country.. That's right, I'm talking about you awesome Republicans and Democrats that have your heads so far up your own... Well you know. You want real change in this country? Quit electing the same idiots over and over that brought us here. Sorry to say this but one party is not any better than the other. You're both the same, get over it and drink your sippy cup. What a bunch of a cry baby jokes, no wonder the world hates us. Sorry if I hurt all you sensitive cry babies out there. Maybe you should go protest about it and pretend someone cares.
The Republicans are glorying in the chaos they have caused. But it will catch up with them next election and many more to come.
More racist talk from the ultra-extreme, far far right conservative wing of the tea party. Five years in and they still can't get over the fact that we have an African-American President.
Doesn't this guy need an intervention? At the least, Larry Klayman needs to be drug tested. He's come unhinged.
Wow! Who gave that narrow-minded idiot the microphone? Fox network? There is so much brainwashing going on in the media these days who love to fan flames that instill fear and hatred in people, that I see fascism on the horizon coming from somewhere in the ranks of the GOP. You want to see the next Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco rise again, you need to look no further than the Tea Party. They are there a dime a dozen, ready to pull off the next great genocide.
The Klan goes to Washington D.C.!