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. Thaddius

    The Tea Party supporters make Charles Manson look like a well adjusted family man.

    October 13, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. FactChecker

    Ignorance can be educated and crazy can be medicated but stupid can't be fixed.

    October 13, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Jachin brother of Boaz

    These guys sure take some liberties calling to start a "non violent revolution". Gandhi and M.L.K. lead non violent uprisings for noble reasons. These Anti-Patriots are running the Snarky remark innuendo and bad anecdote revolution. They are closet white separatists.

    October 13, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. anything but teabaggers

    This is just how the Nazis came to power. Extremists psychos that hijacked a democracy. Don't ever forget – Hitler was elected.

    October 13, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Dave

    Unfortunately for you CNN, you fail to recognize true patriotism and continue to kiss the idiot in the white house's butt. He hates our military and veterans. This rally was to show the president that we the people have had enough of his directed crap at trying to piss the people off. It's working. We are pissed off at the nonsense coming out of the white house and this rally was to show this. If it continues there will be more rallys and many more participants. Conservatives are sick and tired of this liberal crap and we are gearing up to take our great country back!

    CNN - you are a has-been in the news industry because of your totally biased and neglectful selective "reporting" of facts.

    October 13, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. copchick187

    How about a little RESPECT for our VETS? They have earned a right to a peaceful protest unlike the illegal aliens that had their protest. I don't remember anyone calling the illegal aliens names like "crazy" or "idiots". I can only guess that the people that are posting these nasty names about our VETS have never served our country or loved someone who did.

    October 13, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Paul

    why did CNN declare this a tea party rally?

    October 13, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Dave

    This was not a tea party rally but a rally by conservatives who have had enough of this overgrown and overburdening federal government. Get your facts and bias correct CNN....

    October 13, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. John P Wiese

    I find this rhetoric really disturbing as it makes the USA sound and look like a Third World country in chaos. All around the world, if you don't like the democratically elected government, you yell and scream every lie you can manufacture, then try to get enough people to protest, then try to make it look like a popular uprising. The GOP and the tea party are forgetting that they lost the vote and are trying to cause trouble with their lies, maneuvering, manipulating and shoddy tactics. They cause the problem, but blame the other side. I believe that there are far too many "career" politicians with self-serving agendas in government. It's time that the Congress and the Senate had two term limits, just like the President. It's time to do away with partisan politics and vote in real people who truly want to do the right thing for their country, and not for their own self-interests.

    October 13, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Atomictomato

    National monuments are wasteful spending. I would rather my tax dollars be put to something useful like healthcare, scientific research, or maintaining vital infrastructure. These tea party people are a bunch of hipocrites and fools. They have no one to blame for the shutdown but themselves.

    October 13, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. r

    How backward and disconnected are they people from reality?

    October 13, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. JAB

    what would happen if the government were shut down, including the closing of national memorials and national parks," he said at a press briefing.

    What would happen if the IRS shutdown? Let's start with them...

    October 13, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. scootfl78

    How many unintelligent people out there actually believe Republicans are the victims here? The Republicans HATE government, they HATE poor people, and they HATE progress. The government shutdown is the fault of Republicans, the blue-dog (conservative) Democrats, and everyone else whose too weak and uncaring to put a stop to all of this.

    October 13, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Bill

    Cruz wants to do everything to shut down the government and keep it that way and then cry and blame Obama for the results. What a jerk!
    Cruz and your ilk, put down your peckers and go back to Canada or someplace else. We like our system of government and don't need you wrecking any more of it!

    October 13, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. ChickenHawkCivi

    My college flunk-out uncle and his son follow Ted Cruz and company and believe every word. The TEA party gives stupid and crazy people a way to feel intelligent and correct. It is pure politics now. Anyone who criticizes them or disagrees in any way is shouted at as a "LIBERAL". Normal Republicans are now liberals to these "Cruzers."

    October 13, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Mike in Texas

    Patricia,

    Do you even know what righteous indignation is? It is typically a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult, or malice. In some Christian Doctrines it is considered the only form of anger which is not sinful. Sounds a lot more like the Tea Party people to me.

    October 13, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Bryan

    This is how it begins. I can't wait to get started

    Yeah I know ...im on a list somewhere

    October 13, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Chris Thurston

    Today, patriotic Americans struck back against the Marxist traitor in The White House!!! God Bless the Tea Party and all TRUE, Constitutional Americans as we take the monuments and memorials that our veterans paid for with their blood back from the Muslim-sympathizer-in-Chief and traitor who is bankrupting our economy, assisting our enemies and betraying our friends....IMPEACH THE SOB, remove him from office and then INDICT him and send him to prison....Now go back to drinking your Kool-Aid, all you sick Obamazombies...!

    October 13, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Mike, Albany

    All I can say is that it is the SPEAKER in this video who is not the true American. He needs to be expelled. The America I live in has freedom of religion built into its Constitution. Obama is not a Muslim, but even if he were, as an American citizen, he'd have every right to run for the Presidency. This is true no matter what his religion is. So, you want to talk about true Americans? This guy does not qualify.

    October 13, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. darly314

    Did Palin mention Vet pensions or disabled Vets AT ALL? How about medical care, Vet hospitals?

    October 13, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Debbie

    Are any of you ever going to hold Obama responsible for anything. Take off your blinders. He is every bit as responsible as the tea party. In all my life I have never heard a President of the United States belittle and spew hatred toward half of the country. What individuals due is one thing, but he is the President of all not just the progressives. BTW, I find both parties have been taken over by the crazy fringes.

    October 13, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Eastcoast

    The Party House Reps are on record promising to shut down the government. Many have sworn to never vote to raise the debt limit unless they get what they want. And they expect to escape blame for the consequences? They honestly believe they can cheer the chaos when speaking to their voters and blame Democrats when speaking to rest of us.

    October 13, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. r

    the memorials may be shut, but the republicans are the ones who shut the government down WHICH furloughed government employees and who cannot go to work. Obamacare is a solution for those who cannot afford to buy insurance from other insurance companies and those that do buy it, do not get any coverage because they are paying for deductables. All that an insurance covers for the thousands of dollars put into premiums is one physical a year? Start holding insurance companies accountable for what they cover and dont cover. Think, compare and then speak.

    October 13, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. joe

    Apparently there is no such thing as "fact' any more. Any thought that comes into your head is true if you just speak it into a microphone. If you say the president is a Muslim, he is. If you claim he won't negotiate, it is so. Adjust your tinfoil hats, gentlemen. We have a country to run.

    October 13, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This teatrash should be called the brown shirtes and only represent the GOP garbage of America , the army should be called out , round up these dumb cattle and move the stupid animals out!!!!!!

    October 13, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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