October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
1 year 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. naser

    Can we send these conservatives or what is so called tea party to California to learn how to be in peace with themselves. They can also become more educated and how to respect other people, religion, cultures, views, etc.

    October 14, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  2. Omsk

    How can u Obama lovers continue to support a government that punishes the working citizens and rewards those with no desire to work? I just love working and giving all my money to the government

    October 14, 2013 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  3. James Ruston

    President Obama spent 20 years as a member of a 6000 member Christian church headed by Jeremiah Wright. Remember him? He was the one during the first campaign that these folks railed against because he said, among other things, "God damn America." The president had to quit the church and disavow the reverend. Yet this idiot and others like him insist the president is a Muslim. That kind of mental disorder, which George Orwell called double think, in which a person can hold two contradictory beliefs at the same time without seeing any conflict between them, is typical of Tea Party types. It is also typical of racists. It is no surprise, therefore, that racists make up a large contingent of the Tea Party. And Patricia dear, nobody is calling the veterans names. We are calling this idiot an idiot.

    October 14, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  4. David

    It is funny how so many of these hateful people claim to be so christian and claim the President is not Christian. They wouldn't know a Christian of Jesus himself was escorting that person. A lot of racist people who claimed to be Christian lynched blacks for many years. Any one can call themselves Christian and anyone can say the President is not. It doesn't mean they are right and that Jesus would agree. So these Teaparty extremists don't carry much weight when they say crazy bs like they normally do for headlines.

    October 14, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  5. knowledgeseek

    As an independent voter I will never vote in a tea party member. It feels more like they have paranoid personality disorder than any form of logic. Too bad because they might actually get heard if they left the paranoid items out, and just stuck to a limiting government platform.

    October 14, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  6. loudmusic

    These mouth-breathers sure do love a good rally, don't they? On a related note, I'm given to understand that many psych wards also allow their patients off the premises on a regular basis, under supervision, to get some fresh air and exercise.

    October 14, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  7. oneWayfarer

    TEA PARTY Rallies are a REALITY FREE Zone

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

    These Republicans create the shutdown of the US Government and then have the nerve to accuse and blame the President. What a farce! Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin should be ashamed of themselves.

    October 14, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  9. Linda

    In the 60's, these were the same folks who shouted, "America, love it or leave it." Well, back at you. Such hateful and ignorant people.

    October 14, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  10. Name

    thanks to democrats I now have to get health insurance. thanks to republicans I no longer have a job. to the tea party thanks for nothing

    October 14, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  11. Dream_Walker

    GOP cannot survive long enough as long as this party has leaders like Palin, Cruz, Michelle Backmann and the list goes on. I see majority American people counting GOP's action for 2016 race.

    October 14, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  12. PeeBee

    I think the disrespect, arrogance, and administrative non-cop=operation shown to the first ever black president in US will be remembered in such a horrific way that no other black US citizen will ever dream to be the second.

    October 14, 2013 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  13. weedouthate

    As a body, Congress is supposed to lead us as Nation towards a higher plane, and definitely not bring us down. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood that our individual and collective abundance draws from spirituality and so did our founding fathers. Separation from church and state does not mean detachment from our respective spiritual roots. Government should set a framework which allows the individual and organized religious institutions freedom to tap their respective spiritual roots. Scorched earth tactics that threaten to detach everyone from this freedom only delay society natural progression. Common ground provides only temporary solutions, because it will allow the groundswell of resentment to build-up. By participating in a social fabric of society, we actually do not minimize our fortune, we enrich it. When I listen to Dr. King's rhetoric I become energized with spiritual life from within it. People with means and abundance will want to share, and those who receive will no feel so entitled. Everyone will want to contribute to the best of their ability to for drawing unlimited spiritual life from their spiritual roots. These spiritual roots energize the grassroots. Once we begin to conduct life, we become the life that we share. What we as a people need to do, in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. and everything that he stood for, is to reveal what’s behind the divisive rhetoric. Our founding fathers were a very clever and spiritual bunch. They understood the nature of our collective pursuit of happiness that would be unleashed. They also understood the nature of the weed patch that would come about as a result of the checks and balances. For without this particularly virulent weed patch, once rooted out and composted, we would never have had the possibility for all of us to enrich and to attain that Promised Land vision that Dr. King set before us.

    October 14, 2013 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  14. charlene

    palin and cruz are the best.partners in crime..come on.people wake up,the GOP are to blame for all of these..and the racist comments just because our pres in colored,you dont have the right to say about muslim because this is not about muslim, this is about business of people behind these the GOP..

    October 14, 2013 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  15. bluevortex

    The responses to here seem to be playing a 'blame' game. So many posts are just venting, just opinions without any solid information base. Where could the responsibility for this mess that we are in possibly sit? Here are the major players (1) Government (Executive, Legislative, Judicial) (2) The media (3) 'Big Business' (for buying influence) (4) Other countries for going after resources that we used to dominate and, finally, (5) 'We the people. I say–stop blaming other people; look at yourself–what can you do? As individuals perhaps not much. But in fact we are the most important sector since we vote. Government is at an impasse, sure, but we voted them in. Don't just go with your opinions. If every American who could vote did vote and if every one of those voters said to him / herself "Maybe my opinions are wrong so I shall study what the country really needs and who really represents those needs" and followed up on this resolve then that would be one huge step in the direction out of our mess.

    October 14, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  16. Actual Patriot

    The Tea party is the party of LUNATICS. They don't even realize how pathetic their childish antics are.

    October 14, 2013 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  17. Jeff

    How can CNN fall into this ploy and be so used! OR How can CNN "feature" these lunatics at the top of the list, to play hate videos? OR How can CNN fall so low (lower than the RAGS) as to give a nod to idiots and call it "news"? CNN is plunging along with the Tea Party and the Beer Party. Snipey, thin-lipped, shrill women; beady-eyed anchors, behaving with "authority"; Hilarious in the abstract; amateurish in presentation; NOT Breaking News; rather "BREAKING WIND!". Only bright spot: Chris Cuomo. Right on, Chris. The Rest: Harlots and Ferrets.
    Nuff said.

    October 14, 2013 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  18. Len

    As a born again Christian, I could never identify with these people who wrap themselves in the bible and the flag and think that it somehow makes their cause righteous. They can try to mask the obvious racism which motivates their hatred of this president, but God sees the ugliness of their hearts.

    October 14, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  19. john

    By the way, Where is Our President? Why isn't he in the trenches talking to both parties to work this out?

    October 14, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  20. Desert Tortoise

    Jerry, don't you see how the continuous upheaval and fear help those very rich patrons of the Tea Party? How else to convince otherwise rational people that they would be better off in the future with less wealth than they have today if not through instilling fear of still worse to come if people don't surrender what they worked so hard for. That has been the whole Republican game plan since the GW Bush came into office. Cut taxes, manufacture a budget deficit after two years of current account surpluses (1999 and 2000) and six years of the debt falling relative to GDP, then leverage that deficit to scare people into giving up Medicare and Social Security benefits, Food Stamps, etc. The only way the Republicans can make an argument for cutting Medicare and Social Security is to have a crisis that demands cuts in tax rates and thus government revenue. If the economy were healthy and there were no crises hanging over the nation's collective head, the Repulican policy proposal would be laughed out of Congress.

    October 14, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  21. bigboxes

    This Texas veteran tells Ted Cruz to efff off! You'll notice that Ted Cruz never served in the military, but he sure will use us for political points. Disgraceful. What's up with this fear mongering the tea party is doing? First off, who cares if someone is muslim? Probably someone who cares if you are black or gay or a pot smoker. Freaking American Taliban is what the tea party is. And to rally against the American Healthcare Act that is really a Republican idea. Use the free market to provide medical coverage for everyone. How socialist. Duhhhhhhh.

    October 14, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. bigboxes

    You'll notice that Ted Cruz never served in the military, but he sure will use us for political points. Disgraceful. What's up with this fear mongering the tea party is doing? First off, who cares if someone is muslim? Probably someone who cares if you are black or gay or a pot smoker. Freaking American Taliban is what the tea party is. And to rally against the American Healthcare Act that is really a Republican idea. Use the free market to provide medical coverage for everyone. How socialist. Duhhhhhhh.

    October 14, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  23. Rachel W.

    After reading some of these posts on here, I honestly believe Barack Obama could go on national tv and start tossing puppies and grandmas off the top of Mount Denali, and you folks would think it was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. WAKE UP FOLKS!!!

    October 14, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  24. Veritas

    Just another moronic racist, like most of the tea taliban. They are such low information, low education, and high opinionation voters. They talk about the Constitution but violate the 1st Amendmend without even thinking about it.

    October 14, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  25. Name

    Once again we have to listen to the Tea Party (angry OLD Men's Club) and their Dumb Leader Sarah (quitter) Palin and their sociopathic rhetoric. U all need to seek some mental help.

    October 14, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
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