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. Anon

    The quicker America rids itself of the Tea Party, the better

    October 14, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  2. Rogue351

    The Bible, Guns, Gold, Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh along with the GOP / Tea Party. Crazy becomes the American standard ? Going from GOP to Tea Party is like watching one to many "Unexplained UFO, Kennedy Area 51" documentaries. Remind me again which party is for guns everywhere but against video surveillance unless it is on other people. The GOP / Tea Party are basically saying if you are Christian, White, with Children or you own a gun you want to be able to take with you ANYWHERE you are on our side. BTM- We also support deregulation of everything so that the public can be literally sold anything with no certainty what so ever it isn't going to kill you. Read Your Labels.

    October 14, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  3. DShar

    Last time I checked, it was the republicans who shut the government down. After 80 years of cowardice in the face the insurance and hospital lobbies and having refused to give Obama what he really wanted from a healthcare law, the republicans decided to revert to the their favorite mode – that of a spoilt child who did not get the toy he wanted, and hold the country hostage by precipitating a shutdown to repeal a law that has passed congress and a supreme court challenge. Do these people understand how a democracy works?
    And for this rally, they have apprently scoured the country high and low to find the rarest imbeciles.

    October 14, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  4. Anonymous

    The rallier is telling Obama to put the Quran down needs to put his invisible KKK mask down!!! That's a group of tea party extremists...we all know who they are!! They should direct their anger to their beloved star Ted Cruz for his dumb idea!!

    October 14, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  5. DShar

    Last time I checked, it was the republicans who shut the government down. After 80 years of cowardice in the face the insurance and hospital lobbies and having refused to give Obama what he really wanted from a healthcare law, the republicans decided to revert to the their favorite mode – that of a spoilt child who did not get the toy he wanted, and hold the country hostage by precipitating a shutdown to repeal a law that has passed congress and a supreme court challenge. Do these people understand how a democracy works?

    October 14, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  6. Fer

    I wi remember the Canadian guy on the next Texas election.

    October 14, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  7. JGN

    Tommy, you must be really blind if you think the army is made up of white people.

    October 14, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  8. Kris

    How dare Sarah Palin align herself with vets.

    October 14, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  9. Hikertom

    The shutdown is entirely Boehner's fault for not allowing the House to vote on the budget. There are enough votes to pass it. Why won't he let our elected representatives vote on it?

    October 14, 2013 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  10. TheLocNar

    Conservatives who rally for a smaller government are now angry that the government is shut down. Who didn't see this coming!

    The President would say the sky is blue and these same Conseevatives would tell you otherwise.

    October 14, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  11. JC

    CNN has sunk below Fox news in pandering to the extremes...

    October 14, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  12. VETERAN OF FOREIGN WAR

    the tea party did what Bin Ladin never could, shut down the government

    October 14, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  13. The Fladaboscan

    You gotta love the Republicans and idiots like these tea partiers. Blaming Obama for the shutdown is like being held up at gunpoint and blaming the victim.

    It's one thing to revise history, it's another to revise the present.

    October 14, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  14. democrat for life

    Are these Tea Party people serious. The Republicans are the one and only people that caused this shut down. Trying to defund Obamacare and hold the country hostage. And now they are adding cutting Social Sercurity in order to get back to work. I am glad that Obama is holding firm: he has buckled before and the Republicans miscalculated that he would blink again. I am so glad the the Repulicans popularity rating is 28 percent and 19 members of congress are losing in the polls!!!
    Finally, I have never seen such animosity against a President who happens to be Black. He was re-elected twice and is a great role model for anyone. The way people talk to him about being a Muslim and bowing to the Koran says that these people are racist and deserve to be ignored.

    All I can say to the Tea Party that they are hateful, ignorand people who should go back under the rocks they were living under and take a class on American history and learn what is true

    October 14, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  15. jimmy

    republicans think it's funny to throw a million govt employees out of work, but don't you dare shut down their fascist war machine monuments!

    October 14, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  16. NeutralNC

    I sincerely believe Ted Cruz thinks he is white white. To us white Irish, he will forever be remembered as a Cuba Hispanic man with no chance of ever becoming the POTUS.

    October 14, 2013 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  17. dvdcrr

    This country is heading for disaster and the Tea partiers are trying to stop it. There will come a point when all the big spending dems will bankrupt the union like they bankrupted detroit. Like they bankrupted Cali. Look at your best states fiscally, they are all conservative. What are you going to do when your huge leftist government cant even pay the interest on its debt. Who is going to look cruel then when millions of your children are starving in the street due to worldwide depression? Who is going to be blamed for all the children killed by some oppressive regime conquering the country because you abandoned your 2nd Amendment and your forefathers. Tea partiers are compassionate enough to say no more. Just as a loving parent tells a child no more at the cookie jar.

    October 14, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  18. Dan

    I'm an American living and working in Europe. Larry Klayman, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz ..... These idiots have no idea what image they portray of America and Americans. I know they are not representative, but it's a shame they can get so much publicity and by association cast a pall over the rest of us. - My hope is that the puppets supported by these clowns are voted out of office.

    October 14, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  19. Nuffsaidman

    Oh the racism is killin me!!!!! "His people". Lets run him out... God you should really listen to your dumb rhetoric.

    October 14, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  20. Omsk

    How can you Obama lovers continue to support a government who punish working citizens to support those with no ambitions or desire to better themselves?

    October 14, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  21. steve

    Why is this being called a rally and not a protest? Just wondering about the spin.

    October 14, 2013 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  22. frootyme

    Bunch of lazy people. What does Quran have to do with the shutdown? Pick up copy of Quran at local Barnes&Nobles and read it with translation. You will be enlightened and liberated from Tea Party Talibans.

    October 14, 2013 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  23. Fred Evil

    One question: How many bills has he vetoed?
    None? Not Obama's fault.

    October 14, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  24. Name

    This is what been going on, racism and hate for Obama will hurt this country, if secret service was no working hard by this time we will not even talk about Obama, too much hate in America

    October 14, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  25. Government is corrupt

    Tea parties are just gatherings of racist people...and our war is the white mans agenda...we send troops to fight for freedom while these white politicians sit at home getting paid to be corrupt...and blame Obama for years of being lead by the white man...all this money being spent for silverware and chinaware overseas for government parties? Really? Use that money to take care of our soldiers and their families...soldiers die and what do their families get? Oh I'm sorry...he was a great man...the kids of sliders grow up without that parent...no help if they come back with mental issues...governments corrupt...why should we use soldiers to back a corrupt government? If the US would just keep their nose out of other peoples business we wouldn't be in this situation...but the white man..and history has shown over and over again that they have to have control and will do anything to take control...politics is a game...they lie and cheat...uphold themselves above the law...the only person that is going to take care of my family is me...no one else...we need to hold the politicians accountable for the things they do...stupid tea party followers...

    October 14, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
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