October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
9 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. Sharn Cedar

    We need an Arab Spring, throw these dictator Democrats out

    October 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. greg

    Talk about slumber are you people going to just take all written in this article as fact. All you have for a counter arguement is the race card. Try again start naming the good this admin has done then we can have a discussion. Just because you parrot repeat loon or crazy doesn't win the arguement.

    October 13, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. darrtown

    The comment "Put the Quran down" shows the shallowness of the Tea party.

    October 13, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Termites

    Disgusting American

    October 13, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Don in albuquerque

    I hope come Monday this person goes to work and finds he no longer has a job. He is obviously not intelligent enough to feed himself, so why would he need food?

    October 13, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. RI Jim

    Whatever happened to working things out and having respect for other people's viewpoints? I see nothing but hate and disrespect from these tea party wackos. I would never vote for anyone these people endorse. NEVER.

    October 13, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. DFW Dann

    So they march to protest the shutting of national monuments as being hurtful to our vets, but say nothing about closing meals on wheels which serves meals to over 500,000 veterans. My only hope is that if I ever need help to buy food that they not be on my side. It's the local vet groups that are picking up the slack to take care of our own while these fools do nothing but make speeches.

    October 13, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Tea Party Racism

    The Tea Party admitted to planning this shutdown! And then they invade a rally for veterans and call it their own? That's low.

    They say Obama should negotiate. In a compromise, both sides give something.

    The Tea Party wants to get everything they want and give nothing in return. That's extortion, and most Americans see it.

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Thomas

    @tommy
    Obama hates veterans, Republicans and white people in general. Any president that closes a veteran's memorial as a political ploy is a disgrace to his office and to the country. Obama did this on purpose , that much should be clear even to
    his most rabid supporters. But of course he will blame someone else.

    Yes tommy ,
    he hates them so much that he won't send them into harms way looking for WMD's that didn't exist . Dose it bother you to have a President who thinks other then reacts ?

    What is that saying tommy , you want a chest or a medal to pin it on . If you want a medal , Ted Cruz is your guy !

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Ken

    You got to be kidding, the tea baggers want a shut down and now they are angry at the shut down? Heck if you really believe limited government then all parts should be shut down and run the private companies. This is just another dog and pony show....This is why I am independent now as Republican party is making me sick. I can't image what the Republican party looks like 5 years down the road when more and more tea baggers are voted in. Sad I really missed the Republican party back in the 80's

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Georgia from PA

    I was wondering when Sarah( I can see Russia from my window) was going to slither out. And where does she go? Right with the person a Mr. Cruz by name who is basically singlehandedly destroying our country with help from the Tea baggers. This situation is so frightening, their rhetoric so frightening- almost sounds like Hitler railing against the Jews.These people are dangerous and calculating. God help us all if one were to get into the White house. The old class of Republicans must be very scared right now with good reason. The Dems could run Sponge Bob and they will win.

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. John Galt

    You bunch of communist idiots, blindly following your evil vile leader on a march to destroy the very fabric of this great nation. You disgust America and we are watching and waiting. CNN can call Patriot crazy only too long. We are coming for you.

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. GBfromOhio

    Sick, hateful, intolerant racists. Their anti-American Tea Party representatives closed down the government then they turn around and blame it on President Obama, unbeleivable. As Goebbels the German Nazi propaganda minister used to say, tell a lie big enough and enough times and the people will believe it.

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Jim

    Complete and utter morons. The more these fools speak the more they become redundant. Gop going the way of the dinosaur. Extinct.

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. geezer

    people are going without pay checks. small businesses are losing customers. life savings services are unavailable, but we must see endless coverage of the shuttered WWII memorial. you call yourselves a news organization?

    October 13, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. wayne

    Maybe this guy should put his bible down and do something productive!!!!!!

    October 13, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. GIUK

    Bring in the troops and removed the trash from the monuments.

    October 13, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Funonek

    The entire Tea Party members/people are just so stupid! They should put down whatever it is they are reading! That is of course that they are smart enough to understand whatever it is they are reading which I seriously doubt.

    October 13, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. MMCinMPLS

    I read these comments and wonder how there can be so many ignorant , bigoted people out there. The sad part is, most of them only listen to Fox, idiots like Cruz, , Palin, and others of their stupidity. Get a few facts before you show your ignorance. Read other opinions, listen to other commentators, besides Rush and Glen, look at the numbers.

    October 13, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Bobbie

    Sorry to inform you people but many, many Americans support this Veteran's Protest, which is our right by the way. God Bless these people. And piling the barricades at the foot of the White House is a priceless message to this "phony leader."

    October 13, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. dejavu65

    KKK= Skinheads= Tea Party!!!!!!........

    Now America would be getting better everyday if these GOP whackos can get over the fact Obama is black....Come on its been 5 years get over it!!

    October 13, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. g

    bible? qur'an? both silly comic books

    October 13, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. One Eyed Pirate

    So sad... All those deluded muppets. They think Obama is left of center. He's a DINO and is really a moderate republican.

    October 13, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. anonymous

    let's just say for arguments sake, obama is a muslim....so what. who cares, and whatever. This is the land of religious freedom. although christians interpret that as, you can worship any religion as long as jesus fits in somewhere.

    October 13, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. rc cola

    LOL, and these are people the Obama administration call anarchists, terrorists. Look at them, just average citizens fighting this tyranny anyway they can. Bravo for them,
    Wish I could have been there to support the Vets.

    October 13, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103