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. Dick

    Keep in mind the 50,000 plus Veterans who are Feds, not being paid. This is all on the TEA PARTY!

    October 13, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. Carl

    Obama's list of actions

    1) Funds and supports terrorist organizations
    2) Sends more action against 80-90 year old Vets than to Bengazi (he sent riot police with gas. it was not used but shows just how far he is willing to go, gas 80-90 year olds)
    3) Slowly taken our freedoms away
    4) Wants to disarm us so we are forced to obey and make the USA a police state
    5) Had a 80 something Vet arrested for visiting His memorial, not Obama's.
    6) making us all poorer by printing billions of new money a day so he can spend more. I am not well off by any means, after child support to my ex wife I live off of $1200 a month and now have to pay for health insurance? I maybe force to live in the streets. I did not serve this country, get injured, for this.
    7) has Mainstream media not cover any protests to him so he can lie and say everyone wants this.

    I want our country back from this dictator. So do MANY of others

    I am not a tea party, republican or democrat, I am an independent who mistakenly voted for Obama the first time. This is not the change any of us wanted.

    October 13, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. DWT

    So what if Obama were reading the Quran? Point is...?

    October 13, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Jim

    I think we need to vote out ALL republicans to show the tea partiers and other crazies that the republican party is not for them- that will show them to get their own party- maybe then they will realized that 95% of the country thinks what they say is garbage. I'm a democrat and honestly- initially Romney was sounding like a decent candidate- until he became the republican nominee and he had to appease all these other groups – He couldn't satisfy everyone in the party and started sounding like he didn't know what he was for anymore.

    October 13, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. tasha

    Of course hes Muslim! And the guy is right! america is a christian country and thats how it should stay.

    October 13, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. justin Laue

    First of Church and State are to be separated by our Constitution. I don't want these morons picking the correct religion for me or any American. Time to put these hate mongers and idiots that believe the Earth is only 4,000 years old where the belong, no where in government. They need lumped into the same category as Muslim extremeists. Any political person aligning themselves with these nuts need voted out of office.

    October 13, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. Chris Gates

    Meanwhile, back in reality...

    October 13, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Cindy

    Both parties are equally guilty. Both parties have extremists on both sides. The Republicans just have a name for their side. I think the whole darn bunch of them in Washington need to grow up and do what is right for the country on the whole.You can't have a successful relationship anywhere, on any level (even in your most personal and private relationships) if there is not give and take.

    We can not however keep spending money we do not have. Our elected officials need to get their acts together and do the job we tax payers pay them generously to do or they all should get booted out of Washington. The problem is, no one who might be really good doesn't want the job.

    October 13, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  9. cabobby

    I want to know why these people who damaged government property were not arrested.

    Last week several members of Congress were arrested at an immigration rally

    October 13, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  10. Kendrick Whitney

    The House has passed several bills that would end the shutdown. Harry Reid will not put them up for vote by The Senate and Obama threatens to veto them if they don't contain the funding he wants.

    CBS' Mark Knoller asked Obama if he was “tempted” to sign the numerous
    funding bills passed by the GOP-led House intended to alleviate the pain
    of the shutdown.

    “Of course I’m tempted” to sign those bills, Obama told Knoller. “But
    here’s the problem. What you’ve seen are bills that come up wherever
    Republicans are feeling political pressure, they put a bill forward. And
    if there’s no political heat, if there’s no television story on it,
    then nothing happens.”

    So basically what he has said is if he will not pass any Bill, that does not contain everything he wants, to keep the pressure on the House Republicans

    October 13, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. oreo

    Go Tea Party!

    October 13, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. Thad

    Why do you have to label everything not of CNN's bias agenda as "Tea Party"?
    If you were true journalists you would know by talking with the people they were from all political groups and some not member of any–
    It was an expression of 1st amendment rights not a political demonstration–
    You could at least show them the same courtesy that you showed the illegal aliens with their Mexican flags and Che Guevara posters–

    October 13, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. cm

    The "rallier" or "activist" is Larry Klayman who has made a career of suing (and losing) to just about everybody and had his law license suspended in one state. He also took the fifth in a trial where he was charged with not paying child support when asked if he had had sexually inappropriate conduct with his own kids. Yeah, he took the fifth. What an outstanding American you have chosen to appear on the stage with, Senator Cruz and Sarah Palin. And CNN! What the heck is the matter with you, not to identify who this guy is?

    October 13, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. Anonymous citizen

    Wait a minute! Who filibustered over 20 hours to stop 'Obamacare'? Who got the Democrats to agree to a lower budget? Who said they would put the budget to a vote on the House floor and didn't do it? Who has threatened to not put the budget to a vote in the House demanding concessions that were never agreed upon in the first place? Who is for the first time trying to undermine a legal law by refusing to vote on a budget? I'm I in the Twilight Zone? Wake up and look at the facts! Be reasonable about this and be honest with yourselves. There are better ways to argue a change in law than this and it's called democracy. Look it up in the dictionary.

    October 13, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. assh mekhail

    We told you many time Obama support Muslims brotherhood which is one of the largest terrorist organization in the world

    October 13, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Mark Jenkins

    It has to be something in the water they're drinking, these people are SO disillusioned and SO clueless on how REDICULUS they sound. In a world where information is at our fingertips, they CHOOSE to remain ignorant and believe the BS of right-wing propaganda that's their business as long as it doesn't affect me or anyone else that is MOVING FORWARD in this country and around the world......I don't waste my time trying to figure them out anymore.

    October 13, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. I am the Tea Party

    Quick gang, get online and do you biding. We have only words but use them well. Call them every bad thing you cn think of. Pick up ou checks at the usual place. Thanks comrades, Obama bless you.

    October 13, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  18. Alex

    All kinds of people will blame Republicans and that's fine but at the end of the day allot of this has to do with the Republicans funding obamacare a system so good that the Senate the gop the president some unions are exempt.how is it that no law shall be implemented that does not apply to all. As a vet I now have my disability pay being held hostage for Nov 1st is not alotbut if you don't have that one folder that you need it might as well be a million, most people that live paycheck to paycheck don't have the money to pay late fees for their rent mortgage or car payments. Is welfare being held up no it isn't yet most stay at home n not having the easiest life but at least they know that they'll have food and rent money for their section 8 housing. But I put in 50-60 hours a week And don't ask anything from my government go ask if the shut down the free Obama phones, yet they tried to shut down wic the government had its priorities wrong.

    October 13, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. jim

    Apparently the speaker doesn't accept the Constitution of the USA. Obama was elected to a 4 year term by the rules established by the founders and he wants a minority to overthrow the elected POTUS. Cruz is crazy if he supports overthrowing an elected President

    October 13, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. CedarRapids

    'Patricia

    Listen to you people, you are calling our veterans, the people who have served this country names,
    talk about classless.'
    Yeah because people like you calling Obama all sort so names are just so full of class.

    'My husband volunteers at Madigan Army Hospital and the order to "make things as hard on people as possible" came straight from the top (WH).'
    Oh enough with the bull, seriously.

    October 13, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. SciGuy

    Those of you who think there is a dime's difference between the repubs and dems are cute.

    October 13, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  22. Stella

    Sounds good to me

    October 13, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  23. Roland

    Legitimate grievances wrong answers=Tea party.Every U.S. president at least since the end of WW2 has supported Islamic fundamentalism in order to frustrate the spread of secular nationalism,independent development and communism in the Muslim world.The Carter and Reagan administrations carry most of the blame for todays resurgent Islamic terrorism.Both the Taliban and Al Qaida emerging from the war against the Soviet Unions occupation of Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution coming from the support for the Shah dictatorship in Iran.The Obama admin also supports the Saudi dictatorship and helps arm the Al Qaida terrorists in Syria as does it support the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and other fundamentalist Islamic groups.

    October 13, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  24. Citizen Caine

    Patricia... the President alone did not do this... what about the inaction of the GOP? Get your head out from under the rock...

    October 13, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. Daniel Maddigan

    If the republicans really want to honor the people that fought bled and died for democracy then respect the democratic process and allow a vote on the senate bill in the peoples House.

    October 13, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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