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. Medicine Man

    As long as the dumbest of the dumb demand that a Catholic put down the Quran, there is no hope for re-election for the GOP, unless they distance themselves seriously from this wackaloon outfit calling themselves the Tea Party.

    October 14, 2013 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  2. Joe Seattle

    Not really a Tea Partier myself, but I love the liberal who decry the Tea Partiers as a danger to this country. As if the Democrats $17 trillion debt is supposed to be a bridge over troubled water. Give me a break. The Tea Partiers do their credibility considerable harm with inflammatory rhetoric, but they're the only one's calling for a balanced budget amendment, and I'd truly have to call anyone not doing so not more than a few loose screws short of criminally insane.

    October 14, 2013 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  3. Jay W

    One weeps for the greatest Republican, Lincoln, that these malignant malcontents have perverted his party, his principles and his aspirations for this country – and that Republicans allowed it to happen.

    October 14, 2013 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  4. 123elle

    Those "ralliers" have disgraced the monument to my beloved father, a decorated WWII vet and a fine person. If he were still around, he would not have tolerated their disgraceful references to the U.S. President for one minute. These shameful nut cases and their garbage talk belong at the dump - not at a national monument.

    October 14, 2013 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  5. mot

    1) its one person,. if we made headlines over one person's thoughts,. we could have sensationalized headlines,. oh wait,..

    2) some dems seem to try to point out lack of diversity in pics,. you do realize that dems stage their background with racial makeup for that perspective to fool you right??/

    3) does this really mean anything,..

    October 14, 2013 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  6. jazz92

    These people are getting out of hand! The Tea Party is destroying our Country! This man talking about the Quran is way out of line! This is most of these tea partiers! They only hate! Has NO solutions to problems at all! JUST pure Hate! It is a shame that these people has hurt your country so much! ONLY state board agendas! NO detailed plans from ant of these people!

    October 14, 2013 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  7. another example

    of how the ppl are sick of the govt telling them what to do,. no one is hurting the monument, nor will,.. no guards are needed,.. yet the fed govt seems to think we need watching there too

    October 14, 2013 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  8. 123elle

    They shame the memorial to my father, a decorated WWII vet and a fine person. They and their garbage talk belong at the dump, not at a national memorial.

    October 14, 2013 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  9. ts

    People stop getting false information from Fox News and right wing radio. The reason the memorials and parks are shut down is because the government is shut down caused by the republicans in the house attaching first refund then delay of Obamacare to the bill which would keep the government open. The President could never agree to these terms.

    October 14, 2013 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  10. jazz92

    MR PRESIDENT~~ Thank you for all you have done to save this country from Blackmailers !! KEEP the faith and stand tall! there are people out here who will stand with you! this guy that is speaking against you is a traitor to our country!

    October 14, 2013 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  11. Uncle Bob

    On Friday, January 20, 2017, we will begin to see what is repairable, though some seeds are now deeply rooted.

    October 14, 2013 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  12. Uncle Bob

    Jerry, its going down hill because we cannot seem to work together and as voters; it’s our fault.

    October 14, 2013 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  13. jack frymire

    In 1948 black American veterans throughout the South couldn't enjoy the freedom they had just defended–couldn't vote, couldn't patronize the same restaurants or water-fountains. The New York Times reported over 100 lynchings a year in America. I was a white high-school student near Houston, and asked my grandmother if she truly thought Hitler was superior to Booker T. Washington. "Yes," she replied, "Just as he is superior to Rover there." I suppose the man who told Obama to put down the Quran represents progress–the same hatred and ignorance, but this time directed against a black President. Still, it's depressing to read some of these comments, 65 years on..

    October 14, 2013 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  14. Uncle Bob

    Jerry, its going downhill because we cannot work together as Americans and as voters; it’s actually our fault.

    October 14, 2013 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  15. Ray

    When the vetrans'and others Return to Washington DC, i do not feel it will be as civil nor as peaceful as the one this weekend.

    October 14, 2013 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  16. Steve brinkman

    Used to b the people who re-write history had the good sense to wait until the collective memory faded a bit. These shameless thugs of the TV try to re-write it five minutes after the events happened. The Republicans shut the government over Obamcare, and now that isn't even a pressing issue issue for them any more. They are simply trying to jam the machinery of government out of rage at not getting their way. This is treason bordering on domestic terrorism. History will not treat them kindly.

    October 14, 2013 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  17. children of Israel

    Let us go back to dark ages, that is when the so called Negro ruled the world. Is that a lie? Obama is a black African, biblical called a Hamite, is that a lie? Allah is the Devil, and America is the daughter of Babylon where anything goes. Satanist are the elephants in the room, and the Zionists are the Esau jack asses. It's all a set up to have Christians and Muslims distract you from truth. The real terrorists are them wearing those suits and ties. Their secret weapon is flattery, by praising men and women daily. The blame game is politics 101 called stalling for big daddy war bucks. Get the American people frustrated and angry, then labeled them mentally unstable, then they will sign up for Obama care by participating themselves willingly. So chip away, you've just been transformed into an angel of light. Remember God is light.

    October 14, 2013 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  18. Kris Canada

    A Nation divided against itself cannot stand, America the great is fallen is fallen. Like Samson who lost his strength and knew it not, so America has lost her strength is falling from within, there seems to be a civil war of words now, God forbid that Americans turn the sword upon each other, wake up America and repent from the pride and arrogance that has stripped you of what made you the envy of the world.

    October 14, 2013 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  19. Jim Bob

    Barack Obama is a loosely woven cotton fabric.

    October 14, 2013 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  20. Monica

    These Tea Party people are sick. One of the main reasons I switched parties, and I was a republican for years! These idiots should be ashamed of themselves. The whole world is laughing at us right now bcuz of them. And now our country is in real trouble bcuz of them. Shame on them.

    October 14, 2013 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  21. Cheryl

    Today was the DC million veterns march. Is this how you treat people that have shed blood for you? This is how you talk about people that have gone to war for you? Men and Women have died saving your sorry butt's. I am a registered Democrat and I am ashamed of the party that represents me. If you had taken the time to check out the video's of all the veterans marching today I would hope you would show a little more respect. They are posted all over the web. Maybe we should let you all go fight with the active soldiers then maybe you would understand the respect they deserve. or maybe we should just send each of you to one of the homes to eat dinner with the children that are now missing a parent so you could get a clue how huge the price they paid for YOU!

    October 14, 2013 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  22. Oneula

    Amazing – the more these Tea Party clowns act out, the more they collect social rubbish and the scorn of the sensible and educated society.

    October 14, 2013 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  23. larry

    Why would Obama close the National Monuments to Vets and liberals think it's OK ?
    I would not have my children serve in the military at this time to protect the likes of these type people.

    October 14, 2013 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  24. Name

    Just ignorant. I'm a Muslim and I know Obama is not Muslim. But even if he were what's the problem. As long as he takes care of the American people and their needs that's all that matters. So a necessity for being president is to be Christian?

    October 14, 2013 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  25. Chris

    Cruz & company make me sick. But that aside, The USA will default.

    October 14, 2013 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
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