October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
10 months ago

Rallier tells Obama to 'put the Quran down'

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.


Filed under: President Obama • Tea Party • Washington
soundoff (2,570 Responses)
  1. GaryB

    So, the folks who voted for Ted Cruz and all the other teapublicans, who were giddy with excitement when they shut the government down, are just now realizing that government shutdowns have consequences? These are probably the same type of folks who would let their kids or grandkids climb all over the WWII monument (because, after all, there aren't enough park rangers on duty to stop them), then sue the federal government when their kids fall down and break their necks. Tea Partiers, it's time to start taking a little responsibility for your own actions and stop expecting the rest of us working Americans to pay for your silliness.

    October 14, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. Deez

    Rallier, put the crazy pills down first.

    October 14, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. Brandon T

    how is this news? just sounds like someone spreading hate and cnn picks it up.

    October 14, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. jd

    is this the lead story CNN comes up with around the inexplainable shutdown of the World War II memorial? Kudos to CNN for quickly referencing Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz with this nutcake – you make sound that everybody present at this demonstration shared this 'nobody's" view. CNN did not cover this story had a blatant agenda to incite the left. No wonder they are losing market share. There were many honorable people and veterans that were present protesting against World War II memorial closure and yet CNN leads with this story. When are people going to realize the biggest enemy within all of this is the irresponsible media - shame on CNN!

    October 14, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Golf 4 Obama

    One of Obama's preferred golf courses, the course on Andrews Airforce Base remains open during the government shutdown. The grocery stores on the base, where troops get discounted groceries for their families are, however, closed. They will shop "at local stores that cost about 30 percent more, Lieutenant General Raymond Mason, the service’s deputy chief of staff for logistics, said yesterday at a House hearing."
    The Andrews Air Force Base golf course is funded through user fees and that’s why it remains open, said Air Force Captain Lindy Singleton, chief of public affairs for the 11th Wing at Andrews.
    Obama hit the links last weekend for a round, on the eve of the possible shutdown. Last week the President played his 35th round of golf this year.

    October 14, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. sftommy

    The House Majority Leader kisses the Torah every Saturday night?
    the only GOP'r in the House that does so.

    Does Mr. Klayman of Freedom Watch have enough hate to spare for "Cantor the Crucifier"

    October 14, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. dw1650

    The Confederacy is alive and well America! Fanaticism is and has been used to manipulate our politics and the day of peaceful protests are coming to an end.

    October 14, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Cs

    Uneducated, hateful, bitter people.

    October 14, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Jim

    If the GOP shutdown the government, why don't the Democrats do the right thing and approve the 11 CR bills already put before them?

    October 14, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Jeremy

    Wait a minute, did this stuttering idiot just attempted to quote Mahatma Gandhi? He wants peaceful non-cooperation while using inflammatory language. Hey Mister, if you want to put out the fire, try water not gasoline.

    October 14, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. rightfulsolace

    even though they distance themselves from him and will deny it it vehemently, Timothy McVey would fit in real well with some of these folks...................

    October 14, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Adama

    Our president is a christian. Give it a rest folks!

    October 14, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Sometimes a sharp mind can get dull from being used on things that it wasn't intended to be used on. Such as this guy's mind, I'm sure his mind was sharp at one time but he used it against something it wasn't meant to be used on namely (Public Speaking) just like a kitchen knife is meant to be used for cutting food and not iron this guy's mind got dull and his statements are proof that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Perhaps he just needs to re-sharpen his mind and leave it at that.

    October 14, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. Jayessee

    You just can't fix stupid.

    October 14, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  15. Shawn McFadden

    I'm frustrated like everyone else about this shutdown. This crisis could interfere with me trying to support my family. Congress needs to get their act togeather or the country is in serious trouble. And on a side note, the President is not muslim. Whoever this Larry Klyman is he offends AMERICANS like me with his ignorance.

    October 14, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. Starman

    Baggers cant figure out whether to attack Obama as a extreme Christian (for that pasture back in 2008) or a Muslim. Hmmm. I could tell these people his ear fell off and I saw an alien and they would literally believe it.

    October 14, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. Duffer

    What I notice is a bunch of angry old white men. Unfortunately, they make all the rest of us old white guys look bad!

    October 14, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. Reid/Pelosi/Obama Love Triangle?

    Of course liberals will denounce this while Harry Reid calls Republicans terrorists and anarchists. What a bunch of hypocritical jerks.

    October 14, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    The problem is that this is pretty typical for this crowd. I live in a rural town in a 'red' part of the nation, and they've set up a booth downtown where they blather on such nonsense, complete with pictures of the President to look like Hitler or wearing a turban or other such ignorance.

    The TP is fueled by ignorance, pure and simple BS ignorance.

    October 14, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. David

    What a pack of foaming at the mouth morons.

    October 14, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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