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. AlwaysRite

    I agree Impeach Obama,he and all liberals are to blame for this .ObamaCare is a failure and so is he.

    October 13, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Loathstheright

    Larry Klayman put his brain down and can't seem to find it....just more proof of how ignorant, uninformed and hateful the right has become.

    October 13, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. John Jones

    Why would any American Legitimate network air such a mentally ill person? Why are you airing this obvious faked rally? It is about 10, 15 people standing around a nutcase! Fouling the names of MLK, Ghandi !! This guy is nothing like King or Ghandi. CNN airing this makes them look like a really foul network. The person deciding this today should be fired!

    October 13, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. rolph

    One of Ted Cruz' friends quoted Alan Dershowitz in saying that Cruz was off the charts brilliant.
    Didn't they say the same thing about the Unibomber?

    October 13, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. ann

    obama is a creep – he should be standing with our Veterans, not hiring goons to arrest them

    October 13, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. kspn

    Group of punks barking when our good old Republican party needing urgent repair in a garage!

    October 13, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Veteran

    I am deeply ashamed of our president. deeply, deeply ashamed.

    October 13, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. BSH

    Look at CNN, working to find the most outrageous and crazy elements of this protest in an attempt to discredit it. There is no doubt that CNN has an agenda, and works to support it. This "article" is not news reporting – it is propaganda. Compared to CNN, Fox News may very well be "fair and balanced."

    October 13, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. bearitstrong

    "One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim..."

    you can't fix s t u p i d

    October 13, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. rolph

    The TEA party stands for TOTAL END of AMERICA as we know it!

    October 13, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. mc

    Veterans yelling at cops saying "you work for us" is just ridiculous. I thought they were all united... cops, firemen, veterans... all deserving of our utmost respect, a fraternity of guys who think that choosing a career and getting paid for it is not enough. Now we all have to bow down in respect. But sometimes they rear their own ugly heads at each other.

    October 13, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. rlma

    Deeply ashamed of the president.

    October 13, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Terry

    To call our veterans crazy' sis insulting and CNN should be ashamed. No wonder it has such low ratings. I'll never watch again.

    October 13, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. kay

    To the young person who wanted "old people to get out of the way". My husband and I are old indeed and are totally opposed to the stupidity, covert racism, religious intolerance and sexism displayed by these fools. That said, you just might want to rethink your "ageism". We marched in the 60s and are white. People all have their opinions, some far better than others.

    October 13, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. texasladyjuanita

    When will our President be a President for all Americans? Presidents are not supposed to be on the campaign trail alternated with vacations, and now seems to be on the campaign trail again – even though this is his last term? Will President Obama spend his remaining time being my President too? I have never seen any President in my lifetime, and I am 61 years old, be the President of only half of America. That is not calling my President names – that is asking the obvious question.

    October 13, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. jinx9to88

    GOP idiots, when you have Tea party members laughing after the government shutdown you have to be blind or straight ignorant to see whos at fault. When Sarah Palin says this was planned to shutdown the government you have to be blind to see whos at fault. GOP are just plain ignorant!!!!

    October 13, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Rich

    With all the jews behind Obama, you'd have to be a class A 'tard to think he was a Muzzie.

    Then again, Klayman, if he isn't a jew himself, no doubt worships the tribe like a good patriotard should.

    October 13, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. waitaminute

    Afraid to report all of it CNN? It's not news , It's CNN bought and paid for.

    October 13, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. SecrtSqurll

    Just when you thought the Tea Party could get any more ignorant. Why would you expect memorials to be open when the Conservatives were the cause for the shutdown? If anything, the vets should be upset with them as opposed to Obama.

    October 13, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. DOMENICK

    Republicans are doing more damage to America than any Terrorist group. I say we roiund them up and jail them like any other Terrorist group.

    October 13, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Fish

    All these anti-Obama pukes make me nauseous, if he were a Muslim so why do you think the sorry assed, lying, holier than thou Christians are any better??? Remember the phrase "Kill them all, let God sort them out!!!" that is a Christian phrase. Now what about murder do Christians find appealing??? I prefer to live as the Christians claim to live but don't!!! Love they neighbor never mentioned what religion the neighbor, in fact the Bible never mentions religion once because religion is man made and as corrupt as mankind!!! I respect the President because he is elected by our nation for our nation and leave God, religion and nonsense out of it!!!

    October 13, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Bill

    Another example of the Tea Party using our Vets for propaganda,
    Having crazy ginned up speakers lie to the public and try to scale the fence to the White House.
    This is the legacy of the lost Tea Party, a total embarrassment to the once great GOP.

    October 13, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Joe Snuffy

    Uninformed citizens abusing veteran pride…

    October 13, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Rachel

    The Republican Party should cut the Tea Party loose. It's destroying them.

    October 13, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Daws

    Looking intelligent as ever...

    October 13, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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