October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
10 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. Denise

    The vets who fought and continue to fight for this country would be ashamed of the crazy people. From day one this mission of these nuts was to get the black man out of office. The scary thing is they claim to be God fearing people. God is not happy by the way they treat others

    October 13, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Roderick

    These people are a bunch of Obama haters that would hate any black man holding the highest office in the country no matter how good of job he was doing. Where were these people when George Bush Jr was leading our kids in to all these wars and getting them killed for a lie? Nobody heard a peep from these clowns. They are just like the republicans politicians, bunch of kkk members in suits.

    October 13, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Tina

    These are veterans that you liberals are calling crazy. How pathetic. Vietnam all over again! Go ahead and keep worshipping Obama. This country will eventually collapse under his reign.

    October 13, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. Dee

    The ugly hateful must be brought out in sun. We must show what these peoplle who trade in this are really like . The USA can not go back we always must be nation on move Forward .All people must be value not shun shame on . Cruz Palin & lee who profit on this hatery and backwardness. We must work together as nation

    October 13, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. just wondering

    welcome to the future of America.... The GOP is making its own Fascist following....

    October 13, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. wotudezerv

    beware of the brown shirts pretending to be americans. that incljudes palin and cruz who attended this travesty.

    October 13, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Peter Cain

    Never underestimate a group of stupid individuals!

    October 13, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. James Waller

    wow CNN castigating those who fought for the nation and its liberties. CNN rating are inversely proportional to how much water they carry for the Obama Administration.

    October 13, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Tigerflower

    Patricia these people in this story by no means represent all vets. My dad, a WWII vet, wouldn't have been caught dead associating with this bunch of lunatics. The one ranting about the Quran is so out of touch with reality he likely is in need of psychiatric intervention. You're free to join them if you so choose but to portray posting dissenters as unsympathetic to US vets is nothing short of shameful.

    October 13, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. sbp

    "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.

    Hmmm.... Calling on an ELECTED leader to be overthrown by "revolution," calling for an elected leader to walk away from his post without due process simply because YOU disagree with him. Accusing him of being non-Christian, as if even if it were true, it were somehow improper. Suggesting the President has committed a crime and should "come out with his hands up" (to your vigilante group) simply because YOU disagree with his policies.

    Who's being un-American here?

    October 13, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Greg

    What is wrong with these people? Why are they willing to act insane, claiming the WW2 Memorial was somehow closed due to President Obama's personal direction? It is on a list within a protocol to be followed in the event of categorical government shutdown. If the government would have shut down under McCain or even Cruz they would have closed the WW2 Memorial, at least initially! Obviously there are some kind of funds that are spent in it's being open. Who keeps it from being vandalized? If we all wake up tomorrow and there is graffiti all over it then whom should we blame?????
    These crazy people!!!! What would they do if the rest of us also went out there to counteract their actions? These crazy people! They are WILLING and wishing for civil war, no doubt! I don't call that American one iota.

    October 13, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. sbp

    Hmmm.... Calling on an ELECTED leader to be overthrown by "revolution," calling for an elected leader to walk away from his post without due process simply because YOU disagree with him. Accusing him of being non-Christian, as if even if it were true, it were somehow improper. Suggesting the President has committed a crime and should "come out with his hands up" (to your vigilante group) simply because YOU disagree with his policies.

    Who's being un-American here?

    October 13, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. sam

    always you mention religion to backup failures of goverments stop this it will create bloody war because of you

    October 13, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Name

    There are truly some crazy people in the United States. If you are so unhappy with our president, leave, please.

    October 13, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Essie

    The tea party wants a revolution...violent or non violent they want to destroy the US government. Although they hate Democrats more they definitely hate the Republicans as well.

    October 13, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Allan

    Your politics are what they are, but the teabags are just flat out stupid about it. "Put the Qur'an down"? Yeah. We've decided we don't like Islam so it follows that everything else we don't like must also somehow be related to it. No matter how stupid that is. Obamacare? Must be a page out of that Mohammed book we've all read and are intimately familiar with. I heard Karl Marx was secretly a Muslim, too.

    October 13, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. oharris30

    BTW I need to turn the President in for eating pork. That's not appropriate for Muslims. Also for a Muslim, he needs to stop killing so many of them. (sarcasm) Ignorant folks need to make up their mind what or who our great president is, Stand your Ground, Mr, President!!!

    October 13, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. YUCK

    this is American horror story,it's all over our history that this nation is full of evil racist people that go to city hall and promote hate.......hate..let me repeat.....

    October 13, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. tony Latino

    As a legal Immigrant I say Obama go away ! put the Quaran Muslim in chief!~
    This traitor of the Constitution must go!

    October 13, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Jamie

    Really? Yep, for sure, must be the Democrats fault. I wonder what an international poll would show about who the rest of the world thinks is more to blame?

    October 13, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. rs

    Patricia
    Listen to you people, you are calling our veterans, the people who have served this country names, talk about classless. As for shutting down the memorials, sorry boys and girls but that is all on Obama.
    ________
    Sorry, Pat, but the House GOP member who wrote the letter to Boehner demanding the shutdown, signed by 80 other GOP House members actually ran for election on his notion of shutting down the federal government.
    Thus- the GOP ran on shutting down the government, and now they have (and they cannot even say why). When you shut down the government, things close, and services stop. Get it? BTW, your support of the Right is mis-placed- they care nothing for the brave men and women of our armed services. They are simply fodder for their unfunded wars.

    October 13, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. tony Latino

    Ted Cruz rocks!! he is loyal to this nation and it's Constitution!

    October 13, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Kit Hill

    The neo-cons and tea party crowd has done themselves in, taking religious conservatives along with them on a boondoggle. They've alienated the young, immigrant, people of color, elderly, women and young evangelical voters with their focus on money, power and keeping the corrupt, rich and powerful in the same position. The latest nail in their coffin is the evangelical middle comparing the tea party's xenophobia immigrant policy with the Bible's principle about strangers. Tea Party fear is greater than any faith they've ever had in God. I may like some of your other social policy positions, Mr. Tea Party, but I don't need your hate and only-the-powerful-can-win attitude. You're not American and you certainly are not Christian. Please be honest and just admit you worship Ayn Rand.

    October 13, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. J

    The Tea Party has mastered preying on the minds of the truly unintelligent

    October 13, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Clint

    This isn't a tea party rally, as much as CNN would like us to believe. Go ahead and try to marginalize these people CNN. Your efforts at keeping us locked into this two-party fantasy are failing. These people are peacefully protesting against the political maneuvers of a lawless and shameful administration.

    October 13, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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