October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
11 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. Saul

    Slowly people is awaking and standing to say NO!
    the more Obama pushes with his insanity the more people will step up and say NO MORE Mr. President.
    I don't care if he is Muslim or not as long as he keeps religion out of the board but he obviously gives a lot of ground to minorities dividing the country more and more.... Sounds like the Socialist agenda in South America, Divide and conquer.... wait, isn't Soros the guy that funded his campaign? The same guy that is promoting drugs in South America, I guess is not important drug traffic now that we are ok with giving weapons to Mexican Cartels "Fast and Furiously"
    I guess the fact that he is purging Generals that have access to Nuclear weapons and top chain of command is just a way to say I am afraid of a coupe... who knows, the true is that there are thousands unhappy and millions about to break!

    October 13, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  2. Shawn Irwin

    Who was it that voted these windbags into office?

    October 13, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  3. Edwin

    What a frightening little man.

    October 13, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  4. Leoncio Estevez

    One can see it boiling under the surface: "Obama is not like us. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is the devil. Obama is not American." Replace all those epithets with the color of his skin and you can reveal the true motivation. Those folks will never admit it. It is too ugly and so they rationalize it. Black translates into foreign, unworthy and lethal. Let's call it what it is: sublimated racism.

    October 13, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. r.landschoot

    the cloosures were ment to discipline common people, whom adminstration felt does not matter within polticians way of life. so, Americans, consider yourself like having candy taken from a baby, without reason and soley for purpose to show common man hadn't better do it again. Yes,common people were treated like bad children and Obama and his cabinet people felt we should be discipline. Ok commoners, consider yourself spanked by Obama, and the so called legislators.

    October 13, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  6. patriot

    Pwhaha...was this an SNL skit????

    October 13, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  7. Lord Vader

    Looking at the comments and it pretty much answers why our nations IQ level has dropped faster than Jupiters gravity. You Republipukes and Dumbocrats have made me so sick I dont see a recovery. I wished anyone who associates themselves with an "R" or a " D" get the hell out of my country!

    October 13, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. Ellen

    When you listen to the likes of ambulance chaser Larry Klayman you are in big trouble. Too bad so many Veterans and citizens fall for the likes of Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin. Let's see, who is really destroying the country.

    October 13, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  9. Truck

    These are the same people that had the go back to Africa signs. The same people with the banana and monkey signs. The same racists posing as veterans now! These idiots fail to realize that hatred and negative energy never works!

    October 13, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  10. Elizabeth

    Since I was first able to vote in 1980 – yes I voted for Jimmy Carter – I have never seen a president treated as badly as President Obama – not even President Bush with all of the horrendous things he did got the crap that President Obama does. The reason why is because of RACISM – yes I said RACISM. This is absolutely disgusting behavior – whether you are a Republican or Democrat – this is out and out RACISM. I will say it again many times – RACISM, RACISM, RACISM!!!

    October 13, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  11. think about it

    @Patricia, if the president wanted to make it harder, why didn't he completely sbut down the government. Why have people workkng wkthout being paid to ensure that people get medicare and socjal security payments.

    Why did he agree to the Republicans suggested spending cuts before the shutdown over the Affordable Care Act?

    October 13, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  12. Tina

    Just ignorant talk from ignorant people. I did not expect anything else to be honest! These guys are lower than pond scum to say things like that.

    October 13, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  13. murat guven

    i would tell republican and tea party supporters to put down their bibles because the fairy tales in that book of fiction is clouding their thought process. this is just an attack on ACA that you disagree with. fine that you disagree. its your right. but the government services you hate are the ones you folks need in the bible belt as you are the poorest folks in the country (kentucky, tenessee, carolinas, mississippi, missouri, alabama, louisiana, texas, arizona). its the folks you disagree with that pay the most in taxes to support your ignorance

    October 13, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. Don

    I see, because its a "antiobama" protest then its a tea party protest. I see, well I guess that the things that CNN won't report is the fact that on March 16,2006 a then senator Obama stood before the senate and spoke about what its a bad idea to raise or national debt he then voted against it. Obama has put us into more debt in five years than Bush did in eight. What most cool aid drinkers do not understand about our national debt is every time we raise the debt ceiling and borrow more money to keep spending it what we are borrowing against is the future of our nation. So we are stealing from our children and grand children.

    The other thing they don't understand is every time we borrow money from a nation such as China we give them more power and control over us, is this really what the liberals want for us? I feel they are selling our nation out.

    Come back next year and tell me about how great Obama care is.

    October 13, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. 4cats

    So, the first tea party whiner that gets a splinter from carrying the barricades, or trips over one, or slips on something inside, will sue the federal government. Because there were no government officials there to monitor the memorials and make sure everyone was safe, etc. Are these people really this clueless, to think that Obama is against veterans, just because everyone is being protected from themselves? There is so much hate in these comments, laughable as they are.

    October 13, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. Jack

    Mr. Klayman, to you I say, move to Iran and say that! Be thankful that we are a free country and can say something that stupid!

    This President has done as well as can expected in light of demonization that Rush "Over the Hil Lemming" Limbaugh and Sean "Insanity" Hannity media insult train!

    October 13, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  17. Michael

    Combat Veteran for Obama.

    October 13, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  18. Tom

    WOW! Once again, the president's media brings up the Tea Party, even though this has nothing to do with them. If Veterans = Tea Party, then count me in!

    October 13, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. bob

    let the tea party alone. they are doing a fatastic job of destroying the republican party. I like it. come 2014 and 2016 the democrats will have control. Obama has been twice the president that Bush was. Bush put us into this financial mess and raised the debt ceiling with republican support. now they try to blame Obama. Thank god and Obama we have health care that is here to stay. This shutdown is all on the shoulders of weak minded congressmen that listens to the minority tea party.

    October 13, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. jhillmurphy

    The Tea Party hate the government and wants to see it gone. Except for war memorials, national museums and parks, Social Security, Medicare, oh wait, we didn't mean to deprive children with cancer to get treatment, Dept. of Defense...it's just like Monty Python's Holy Grail: Well, what did the Romans ever do for us? Oh, well they did give us education, roads, irrigation, security, etc. Except the Tea Party is not funny or smart, but is actually dangerous.

    October 13, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. Guest

    The white house does not have the authority to open or close national parks, war memorials ect. The US congress has the authority to pay for these services. As a matter of fact the president (R or D) does not have the authority to pay for a single thing. The US congress does. I hear congress has an approval rating of 5%, here are a few questions one must ask

    1. Who are these 5% lunnies?
    2. if everyone hates congress this much why do they keep voting in their representatives...over and over and over again?
    3. Is there anyone that puts the country first anymore?

    October 13, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. meki60

    Obama is a charlatan and the worst president we have ever had

    October 13, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  23. Journey

    "Put the Koran down?"

    Last I checked anyone could be executed under sharia law for most if not all of the DNC platform which the President ran in 2012 (pro-choice, marriage equality, educational equality, etc.) Ignore these extremist arguments from the right.

    October 13, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  24. jdinblankets

    We are going to end up with people getting hurt real soon if the republican leadership does not tone down the hatred and racism on the right wing. Rational leaders have gor to step up...McCain, Graham, Ayotte, Christie, all the Bushes,... WHERE are THEY

    October 13, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  25. john

    We can not open the vet memorials but we can give PBS (which is really the voice of the DNC) almost 500 million the first day of the shut down. Then give a vacation to all the govt workers without taking any of their vacation time. WTF. And Harry Reid is the picture of compromise (sarcasm)

    October 13, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 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