October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
11 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. Anonymous

    Shame, shame, shame, on a United States Senator, Cruz, and former candidate for Vice-President, Palin, and other "Republicans" for being willing to attend such an event. The Republicans I grew up with would be horrified to be associated with this kind of spectacle.

    October 13, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Name

    Depending on how many multi millionaires there are in the United States, say out of the 300 something million citizens of the United States there are maybe 2 million multi millionaires just an estimate and seems pretty realistic. If those 2 million people had enough money to contribute 2 million dollars each or even one and a half million that would equal 4 trillion dollars. The deficit could be paid off rather quickly if there were other cuts made other than cutting into the poor man.... I believe others should have to donate some too.

    October 13, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Steve

    Ya put down the Quran because it's not like the freedom to practice your own religion is part of the whole "freedom" idea in the founding of this nation. Idiots.

    October 13, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Concerned American

    To call one a Muslim is a statement and not throwing racist stones. It is a fact and came from His own mouth! This is America, if you don't like the constitution, freedom of Speech, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, go move to China or Russia! This nation was founded upon Christian Judaeo principles. Enough said! True Americans are standing there ground.

    October 13, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Jerry

    no wonder this country is going downhill because of thee idiot republicans and tea party leaders like cruz with their stupid sarcasm in front of cameras. we all know who the republicans care about and they are all racist white supremacist. I hope that when this is all set and done and they ruin our economy once again and the dollar has no economic value and all of their riches are worth nothing only then they will understand the damage that they are doing to this beautiful country.

    October 13, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Jamie

    Go Ted Cruz! Stand up for America!!!!

    October 13, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. mike

    The welfare loving, lazy, uneducated Obamacrats aren't going to like this. How dare someone call out the King of government dependence. Dont worry leeches your check is still coming.

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    The Tea B@ggers show their true intelligence: the President has NOTHING to do with the shutdown. The government isn't funded because the Republican led House refuses to vote on a budget. The President couldn't do anything about that if he wanted to! Time to let the House vote B0ner! Time to take a Civics lesson Tea B@ggers!

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. PFC Ali

    Y is the Quran the reason for govt shutdown? Man the total mindlessness of some people. I can't believe I actually fight for these bafoons. Man if it werent for the freedom of expression I would've voted to kick all the senseless people like these out of USA for national security reasons since they are the ones who those Taliban use for suicide bombings by brain washing them since they are so dum and gullible.

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. WGB

    As crazy as this sounds, I take this rally as a good sign. Much like the over-hyped trucker protest which was billed to draw thousands of rigs to choke off Wash. D.C., it didn't even draw a crowd of 1,000. Both events looked more like klan rallies or white supremacist rallies. Hopefully the popularity of these tea party psychos will continue to fall.

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Dave

    America elected a muslim raised and muslim named socialist schooled man as our chief. I never understood what Marxism/ Socialism was about until Obama came. America was designed to be free. We are failing fast. What have we done ??

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. FubarObama

    Talkback the White House from this traitor

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Whitley

    Hopefully the ACA can help treat those afflicted with paranoia such as this foil hat brigade.

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. nemo0037

    Yeah, there's a surprise, that these puppets of the Tea Crazy masters are getting angry because their thought-feeders tell them who to get mad at... and they can't find anything to say in their anger except worn-out, pathetic "Obama is a Muslim" and "birther" lies. This "crisis" was created by Boehner and HIS crazy masters in the House because they can't bear to see the results of democracy if THEY are on the losing end for once. They've gone beyond pathetic with this march. Shame on ALL of these nuts.

    October 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Bobby

    A rally without the sheets.

    October 13, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Eric Palmer

    Can you get anymore divorced from reality than these people? In the old days these people would usually not find too many others like them and civilized people kept them in check....unfortunately, now they have the internet where they can find others who validate their extremism. Where as Tea Partiers used to be that "crazy old uncle" you had to put up with at Thanksgiving, who whenever he opened his mouth you tried to change the subject to football, nowadays they control an entire party and hold a nation hostage.

    October 13, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. betty

    Thank goodness for these fools, gonna make the elections so much easier on the rest of us.

    October 13, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. kamarasune

    CNN always makes sure their paid bloggers get their slant in first so they can smear and accuse everyone else of being tea-part if they don't agree with the lefts agenda. There was also more than a few hundred. The trucker's and the bikers merged with the Vet's at the Rally according to other news sources (and no not just fox news).

    October 13, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    The Tea Party idiots show their true intelligence: the President has NOTHING to do with the shutdown. The government isn't funded because the Republican led House refuses to vote on a budget. The President couldn't do anything about that if he wanted to! Time to let the House vote Boehner Time to take a Civics lesson Tea Party fools!

    October 13, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Jack

    wow..A total disregard for the laws affecting the shutdown and the people behind the events. It makes you wonder what would have happened if Palin had been elected back in 2008. As much as I liked McCain his choice of VP doomed the GOP ticket. I switched sides and I'm glad I did.

    October 13, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Jdubba

    Ignorant racist rhetoric from uneducated nutjobs on the right wing isn't anything surprising to me but what is surprising is the fact that such a splintered minority group of hate and fear mongers is still getting center stage. These crazies have their own set of history, facts, and non-realities that have little or nothing to do with the true state of things but it does give those who are feeling lost and helpless, a potential sense of hope and in some odd way makes them feel more secure about themselves. The Tea Party and its supporters are truly some of the worst humans we know....against everything, no real answers, and disrupting a democracy that we all depend on to keep this country moving forward...and that the same time, they have their hands out for some gov't love. What a bunch of hypocritical anti-american jerks these folks are and the fact that the rest of the republican puts up with them makes the whole right wing no different than the Tea Partiers. The whole thing is sad to see as an american and to think that we're being laughed at, as a nation, by most of the civilized world should be enough for us to re-think our discourse and how to run this country.

    October 13, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. petemg

    Too bad it is not election day so we could clean house, president and Congress all. Get some new people in because we are at such a childish stalemate now. If we blame one we need to blame all.

    October 13, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. AlecBuster

    Interesting how this Tea Partier name drops Lech Walesa, a union organizer. That.... aside from the obvious anti-Muslim remarks he's making.

    Go back to Kansas...

    October 13, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Deb Ed

    This isn't about political parties. This is about "honor". If you can't honor our veterans that fought for and gave their lives for this country, keep your yaps shut. If you can't honor those that serve in the military to KEEP our country free, then keep your yaps shut. It wasn't just "old white people" that gave their lives in these wars. If you think that, then you really need to start doing a lot of searching on the internet about United States war history. African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, etc fought for this country. Lib or not, honor our veterans and our military. Or keep your yap shut. From: a DEMOCRAT.

    October 13, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. a defrauded gov contractor

    I would never believe I would
    Be saying Sarah Palin and tea partiers
    Have a point ...

    We the people is We the people.

    Thank God the tea party is standing up
    To the system.

    Shut it all down.

    October 13, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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