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. r

    Conservatives are truly the stupidest people in the world. A law needs to be passed that would keep them from obtaining power.

    October 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Boehner admitted on George Stephanapolis' show last weekend that back in July, he and Harry Reid worked out a deal to pass the continuing resolution, a deal that included $70 billion LESS than the Senate originally wanted. Boehner admitted that he and the repubs decided instead to "take a stand" against Obamacare and not pass the CR.

    REPUBLICANS OWN THE SHUTDOWN – THEY JUST DON'T HAVE THE STONES TO ADMIT IT!

    October 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. joe d. plummer

    New age Klan Rally

    October 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. DOMENICK

    I'm suppose to believe the republican party cares about Vetrans?? Why in the heck wouild any intelligent vetran be a Republican after the last Republican in the White house sent 5,000 American troops to die in Iraq over lies? Come on....a Republican vetran ....there is no such thing...UNLESS you are a moron

    October 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. bridgette shealy

    Un believable. Anyone with a diff of opinion is a "racist" "Idiot" "Stupid" "crazy". They are the same ones that call for tolerance. Tolerate all ideas except those that are different from yours?

    I am a Tea Party woman, worked hard all my life , have a savings account, no debt pay cash. Do not depend on gvmt for anything. Am I a threat to you because I want my taxpayer money saved like I do, and not used for "riot' police? Am I a disgrace cause I want my President to step up and lead instead of blame blame blame?

    If you came into the hospital with a life threatening situation and I was there to operate on you, will you ask for another DR? Or would you want me cause I was convenient? Where is the tolerance?

    October 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Roberto

    I am NOT an Obama supporter whatsoever, but its people like that saying "Obama put down your Quaran" that absolutely rub me the wrong way. It does absolutely nothing to support or further the cause of removing him from office, which we all want. So, be professional. And only state the truth.

    October 13, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    You baggers BEGGED for the government shutdown – are you so dumb that you didn't realize that would close memorials?

    You are you so evil that you knew and planned all along to use the closing to try to make the President look bad?

    Either way, you're nothing but a despicable bunch of hypocrites. No wonder the Quitta and Canada Cruz want to speak at your events.

    October 13, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    You folks BEGGED for the government shutdown – are you so dim that you didn't realize that would close memorials?

    You are you so evil that you knew and planned all along to use the closing to try to make the President look bad?

    Either way, you're nothing but a despicable bunch of hypocrites. No wonder the Quitta and Canada Cruz want to speak at your events.

    October 13, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Sad for the US

    Why don't ALL of the Democrats AND Republicans go back to work and get their job done?!!! Every single person in office should be voted out next election. Can't they just stop it....all of them...both sides.

    October 13, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    You folks BEGGED for the government shutdown – are you so dim that you didn't realize that would close memorials?

    You are you so intent on doing our nation harm that you knew and planned all along to use the closing to try to make the President look bad?

    Either way, you're nothing but a despicable bunch of hypocrites. No wonder the Quitta and Canada Cruz want to speak at your events.

    October 13, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Mike

    After reading the name calling, insults and comments thrown about at our veterans and fellow citizens I find difficult to imagine that people posting who are as privileged by America’s generosity As any other should be so alienated from their country as to feel themselves in it but not of it.So much to not recognize a simple right given to men by their creator.

    October 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. iReason

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Reason and religion are often in conflict when dealing with people who would rather grab a line from a book than use their brains and make their own decisions and then be responsible for them. You parents who lead your children into this mentality will pay in ways you cannot yet imagine.

    October 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Lollercoaster

    All the libs here can act shocked about the references to Obama being a Muslim, but seriously, he grew up a Muslim in Indonesia, and his mother and grandparents were by and large secular. He is obviously a combination of both.

    October 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. D.Jones

    When these people were teenagers their parents and grandparents complained about the Beatles long hair, about blacks and the Jewish meddlers from the North. Now here they are carrying the torch of ignorance to find their own place on the wrong side of history. It's pathetic and laughable.

    October 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Someguysarerude

    The crowd is just a bunch of morons trying to outdo each other.
    They have free speech, but sadly don't know how to use it. Lies such as Obama following the Koran is nothing short of inciting a riot. The ignorants gathered will surely suck this crap up, aided by folks like the taxman and tommy boy.
    Conveniently, they forget that the Tea Party is responsible for the real shut down.

    October 13, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. ari

    the tea party is comprised almost entirely of easily-manipulated white evangelicals who are afraid of anyone who does not resemble them, in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, income, or educational background. they are pitiful, truly.

    October 13, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Philip

    It's very sad that we have to put up with these kind of right Wing Nutts... No respect for our President, No respect for our Government, No respect for the rights of others. The shut down is a result of a group of Tea Party members who's goal is to eliminate the Federal Government totally... why would they even care if the Gov't opened back up ? Answer is.. They, IE the Tea Party REPUBLICANS do not... But they will use it to continue to fester fear and hate with their small mass of supporters. Ever wonder why the GOP State's continue to de-fund Education? These guys are an example.. An uneducated population is easy to control via fear and miss-information.

    October 13, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. ivan

    So much hatred. Our foreigh enemies must be rejoicing on our internal stupidities.

    October 13, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. IMeanReally

    I'm betting that when they leave the area.....it will be cleaner than any liberal rally would have left it. History proves as much.

    October 13, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. NameOH

    The entire US government needs torn apart, dissected, rebuilt and rebooted. Elect a third party candidate for president in 2016!

    October 13, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. SpgfldTom

    In the history of the Republic has there been a President more disrespectful of our military men and women than Barack Obama? More than willing to send them off to die in Syria, but totally disrespectful of their love for the country and their values. If it wasn't for Biden I would support impeachment. The nation needed a leader, we got a "community activist" instead. Shame on us.

    October 13, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Ninotchka

    We elected an incompetent community organizer from the South Side of Chicago – what else was gonna happen ?

    October 13, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. omeany

    The ignorance of the Tea Party is astonishing.

    October 13, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Lucas Smith

    WOW look at all the Bamster Cheerleaders on this site! Is this KOOL-AIDE CENTRAL or what? Do all you guys light a candle at night for O-Bam Bam? Do you understand the term "Useful Idiots"? So all you Obama freaks really honestly think that all the thousands of War Veterans, Enlisted Military, Truckers, Bikers, Tea Partiers, Off Roaders, and all the other thousands of people carrying American Flags are nothing but racists and rednecks? All righty then!!!!
    BTW...your lame duck dear leader is at 37% approval rating and falling. Ouch!

    October 13, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Suzy Mack

    When the leftty liberals shut down Wisconsin it was wonderful. When they shut down the Chicago schools it was stupendous. Now you have a taste of your own doing. The Tea Party doesn't care what you call them, they are here to win and live up to what they say. And Wall Street can go lay an egg. Not listening to the Blankfiens, Goldbergs, Greenspans, Dimons...etc.

    October 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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