October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
12 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. Apex301

    Amazing how many people that think the President is responsible for the right wingnuts in Congress shutting down the government. They actually think he should cave in to blackmail, or everything is his fault! I guess none of them actually paid attention in American Government class in high school, or they would know this is not a country of blackmail negotiation, but a republic based on democracy.

    October 13, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. kubano

    Good for our tea party friends...
    You are the one who. will save this country from the low information people

    October 13, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    @Patricia-Got any proof to back up your ridiculous claims?

    October 13, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. You Lost, Get Over It ! ! !

    As news spread of Lee's surrender, other Confederate commanders realized that the strength of the Confederacy was fading, and decided to lay down their own arms. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army in North Carolina, the most threatening of the remaining Confederate armies, surrendered to Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman at Bennett Place in Durham, North Carolina on April 26, 1865: the 98,270 Confederate troopers that laid down their weapons (the largest surrender of the war) marked the virtual end of the conflict.

    October 13, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Jon vanb

    Its funny how cnn puts this rally in to light, of course most of the people bashing these vets never severed one day in their lives and have no clue the sacrifies these poeple have made so you closed minded one sided thinking, dont really know jack about the world people can voice your opions. They paid for those rights in blood, sweat, tears and in some cases their very lives so u markists, socialists, bigogots can trash the very fabric of this country!!!!!! Both sides are guilty of this! But when you go and post that a group of vets protesting the shutdown of war memorials and slant the veiw so far left that no real fact about disabled vets where there protesting this, your veiw becomes propaganda to a socialist nature and rings invalid. All of you should be ashamed of your selves, for not even giving our vets the credit they are due. I'm supprised the first report about the ww2 vets knocking down the barricades didnt read, "Extremist defy das fuhrer, act of defiance not to be tolerated, deaths of rebels at 6."

    sincerely a pissed off vet

    October 13, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Seam

    If Jesus Christ himself came back to tell the Tea Party that Obama is American, and he is not a Muslim, they still wouldn't believe it. These people are so ugly and hateful. They better be praying for forgiveness on Sunday mornings, because their behaviors are not Christian-like.

    October 13, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Joe

    This guy should be on the watch list for the next shoot out in DC.

    October 13, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    There sure is a lot of ignorance in here, still following the leader I see! These vets did the right thing, the barriers should not have been there in the first place. They were as respectful as Obama was in putting up the barriers. To anyone who used the race card in here...grow up!

    October 13, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. Not Ignorant

    I realize many people of this rally demographic are low information voters, but they seem particularly oblivious to the fact that NPS shut down everything from bike trails to monuments. It takes staff to protect and maintain that infrastructure.

    None at that rally can call themselves Christian, that's for sure. Shame on the elected leaders there who did not denouce the bigoted statements, including those that said that those who are Muslim cannot be American. They know nothing of our founding fathers who explicitly fought to protect the rights of Muslims in the new United States.

    We cannot let these ignorant people control us any longer.

    October 13, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  10. Miguel

    Pretty clear the vets don't see Obama as a friend. And these comments about being white people – so what are they supposed to do about their skin color?

    October 13, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Belseth

    I wish they could get their racist rants right. The President is a Christian and all the Tea Party's wishing and hoping and praying won't make him a Muslim!

    October 13, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. imfilla

    I realize many people of this rally demographic are low information voters, but they seem particularly oblivious to the fact that NPS shut down everything from bike trails to monuments. It takes staff to protect and maintain that infrastructure.

    None at that rally can call themselves Christian, that's for sure. Shame on the elected leaders there who did not denounce the bigoted statements, including those that said that those who are Muslim cannot be American. They know nothing of our founding fathers who fought to protect the rights of Muslims in the new United States.

    We cannot let these people control us any longer.

    October 13, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Sam

    The problem with thw Tea Party is that they do NOT live in the realilty of America in the 21st century. They still behave as we are in the mid 20th century. They are racist and cannot see a NON while president in the white house even as great as president Obama.

    October 13, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    I am sure the majority of the comments here are from people who have never served. Some are right what does the memorials have to do with smaller government, it has nothing to do with it, but it has to do with spending more to keep people away from something that has already been paid for and the Park Service Employees deemed essential to national security. So why keep veterans out to pay respects to there brothers in arms. Something you liberals know nothing about loyalty, allegiance, honor, duty and selfless service to this country. If you think you all can do better then by all means do so.....newsflash you have not everything has more than tripled in price and no end in sight for prices to go down.

    October 13, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Chuck

    Obama....................TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!

    Stop sanctionlng Americans because you dont like us

    October 13, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. blankcheck123

    Oh look another gaggle of angry old white men, friends no doubt of the angry old white men in the house who shut down the government because they are so angry they don't think we need insurance reform. I don't really get it. maybe they just need some hormone replacement therapy. Could be low T

    October 13, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. Argyle

    Radical rabble. I want MY country back from the Tea Party hijacking!

    October 13, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Nick

    reminds me back home (where the oh-so-dreadful Putin lives), same rhetoric, who would've thought

    October 13, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. Rick Patel

    CNN = Constant Nauseating Nonsense. Proud Patriot princess Sarah Palin supports our soldiers & respects our veterans. Obama is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.

    October 13, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. rs

    The Right is simply I N S A N E! The Democrats and the President are trying to "negotiate" with the John Birch Society, circa 1965. If the guy in the article is an example of where the GOP has gone under the influence of the corporate-built TEA Party, the GOP is done and there is no one to negotiate with.
    Arrest the bums and toss their radical backsides in jail.

    October 13, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. joey

    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only

    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

    October 13, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. jake

    very few "veterans" at the rally. mostly tea party types. "keep the white house white....."

    October 13, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. YEah Boy

    Since when being a christian is a requirement to be president or senator? I thought that we have freedom of religion. But yet these tea party seem to ignore that little fact... I dont care what religion you are, as long it dose not influence you to make the RIGHT decision for THE CONTRY

    October 13, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. wotudezerv

    these are anti american, fascist extremists who hate our freedom, hate our liberty, hate our constitution, hate the race of the president of this nation, and clearly believe they have the right to take the law into their own hands. If they did not, they would not destroy government property (the barricades), ignore the law, lie about the religion of our nation's leader, and much worse.

    and will palin and cruz disavow them? no. why not? because they are the same as these extremists. anti-American brown shirt facists extremists.

    October 13, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. brownie

    jerry fyi sarcasm doesnt destroy a country..... DICTATOR will

    October 13, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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