October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
1 year 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. Wake up People!

    As usual just a good old fashioned klan rally. Thank God for the Secret Service, if not for them, it might have turned into an old fashioned down home lynching.

    And to the RWNJ's that continue to blame the POTUS. Maybe you should tell people like the very same ones mentioned in this article to STOP BRAGGING ABOUT SHUTTING DOWN THE DAMN GOVERNMENT!

    October 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. becca miller

    Obama's 4 words that he keeps chanting is the reason for the stalemate I WILL NOT NEGOTIATE....plain and simple

    October 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. GonzoinHouston

    It is said that an accident is when a politician tells the truth in public. In that case, the GOP just had "an accident". And I say GOP, not TP, because the latter now controls the former.

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

    We keep hearing these guys toss around the word "Fascist" and "Dictator" about the current administration but there are some religious, social and ethnic groups that ought to fear being rounded up and deported if these "Party Animals" ever get the power they're bucking for.

    October 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Wild Bill

    Obama makes us ashamed to be Americans.
    The Veterans today make us proud again.

    October 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. kenneth darden

    I guess you conservatives fail to acknowledge that many veterans are NOT supportive of your agenda!

    I am a veteran of 22 years and think it's disgusting the way these tea-partiers are behaving. Most of them have never even donned a military uniform yet they drape themselves in American flags and claim to be all patriotic. What has Sarah Palin done to better this country? She is a money hungry, media hound, who needs attention at all times.

    The tea-party is a cancer that is trying to divide our country and has a hidden agenda. I believe they have a ultimate goal of a government takeover with bad intentions toward minorities, gays, and anyone else who doesn't follow their ways of thinking. The real same is, the are using fear to scare these older veterans and their hatred for Obama is racially motivated!

    October 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Paul Williamson

    Just another example of uneducated, ignorant, red-necked bigoted trailer park trash shooting off their big mouths on something they know nothing about...thank God these Neanderthals will be extinct in another 20 or 30 years. They unfortunately remind me of my grandfather, born in 1892 in the South, a tobacco chewer, 7th grade education, and full of bigotry and racist words, blaming the "darkies" for everything... I had hoped the US would graduate beyond this type of mentality, but apparently this primitive culture still survives in isolated pockets of the South and West...

    October 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Laz

    What exactly are these people trying to say? And are they really that ignorant to the Republicans' selfish mentality responsible for destroying our country (and other parts of the world)? I think it's hilarious how many who struggle with money or cannot afford health insurance vote Republican, and trash the Democratic efforts. Clowns.

    October 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. blf83

    These people are fools! They are willing to believe ANYTHING because of their racism, their right-wing deafened ears, and their willful ignorance. And .. they put our whole nation at risk.

    October 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. cousin itt

    To the tea party, the "m"-word (muslim) is just code for the "n"-word.

    October 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Winston Smith

    Here's a perfect example of the kinds of people that we all have to deal with, on a sometimes daily basis. And it's a damn shame.

    October 13, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. joyce

    This kind of conduct shiould show the American people just how bad the tea party is for us., Never before has any group went as far as these people. I can believe Palin but I can not beliee Cruz would do something like this if he wanted to be president.

    October 13, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. David

    I'm a Christian and not a racist. Over half the congregation I attend is black, from Africa, and we have communication problems, but I love them just the same as any white, Hispanic, Oriental or any other race God sends to us. I could care less for politics in general as I have failed to see any who seek the good of the people instead of their own motives. I do my judging via the words of a wise man with a great perspective on how we should treat other's who said.
    "Men should be judged by the contents of their hearts, not the color of their skin". (paraphrased)-Martin Luther King. I'm white as a sheet...now who is the racist?

    October 13, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. ib4ucy

    Since the beginning of recorded time, this planet Earth has only seen 50 days of TOTAL PEACE amongst all of its Nations at any given time!
    Every Nation needs their own individual Armies or you and your people will not be around for very long on this Big Blue Marble we all call HOME!
    So I ask you, why is OBAMA obviously cutting back on U.S. National Defense?

    October 13, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Seola

    This biased report is almost laughable. These aren't just "Tea Party" – these are people sick of BOTH sides and the politics of the current Congress and even more so with the President shutting down memorials that have never shut down before with other (longer) shutdowns. These are people sick and tired of the partisan crap... yet CNN just goes right ahead and makes it partisan.

    October 13, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. omgamike

    I am ashamed of the conduct of those protestors who removed barricades from the closed memorials. They bring no honor to either the vets, or to the memories of those deceased Presidents we honored with the construction of those memorials. And no, I am not a democrat. I am speaking only as an American, saddened by these displays. I am also saddened by our current state of politics. We need to set aside partisan differences and resolve these issues, which are bringing economic pain to so many Americans. I am not against the rights of any American to protests that which they have strong feelings about. But we should also keep in mind that we are a nation of laws - and obey those laws, even the ones we may disagree with. And to insult this President, to call him names, is to not only insult the person, but it is to demean the very office of the President, irrespective of who is currently occupying the Oval Office.

    October 13, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Johnny Kirk

    Do you idiots even understand what a veteran is? These are the guys who risked life and limb to preserve the rights you use to defecate on the graves of honorable men. And here you are calling them racists, haters and worse. And the tea party has only two missions: Preserve the U.S. constitution and make our government live within its fiscal means. Liberals have no shame or self respect.

    October 13, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. CoolCMo

    The only difference between a "tea party" gathering and a Klan rally is the hats.

    October 13, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Robert

    Great reporting on another event intended to "Show" the citizens of the United States of America how the "common-sense" Tea Party is justified in working to destroy the federal government and democracy.

    October 13, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Ken from FL

    Well, the one conclusion I draw from this article: Jay Carney is a meretricious, prevaricating scumbag. I realize you liberals will have to go look those words up.

    October 13, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. deee510

    These people will say anything and their follwers believe because of their hate.if GOP want the shutdown to end why didnt they nogotiate when the dems requested several times ealier this yr.the tea baggers waited till the last minute to say if obamacare is not defunded theyll shut the gvmt down.and thats what the did.then flip it and say obama shut down the gvmt.obama cant make the budget to fund the gvmt only sign it into law.

    October 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. 1twinsfan

    Mr. Rallier, this country believes in freedom of religion. All religions, not just freedom to chose a Christian religion. And of course, there is that other thing – President Obama is not Muslim.

    October 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. sanity121

    the tea party is nothing but a terrorist hate group, just like the WBC, and should have been tossed in jail the moment they started tearing own the barriers and assaulting the police (which they technically did by ripping the barriers out of the hands of the police).

    this wasn't a peaceful protest, they were causing damage to property.

    October 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. GenYer

    Well, I guess if they want to "expel Obama" they should also expel all of Washington, including themselves, for helping the cause of the government shut down. They are whiny babies about Obamacare and they are throwing tantrums instead of peacefully, logically and diplomatically solving the issue. I abhor this kind of single minded and single party way of thinking. If the tea party were to take over, I would leave the US.

    October 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. lindalou

    What a bunch of ignorant people. These tea party people all need to be put on an island where they can rule to their heart's delight. They'll see how hard it is to be in charge and have everyone question your every move after a final decision has been made by a majority.

    October 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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