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. Psychusa

    Corporate sponsored "public opinion", or should I say "pubic" opinion. Thanks to the Koch brothers, of which CNN is apparently afraid to mention. Their purpose is to destroy any semblance of democracy so that the corporate class can rule directly.

    October 14, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  2. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    And we say to Klayman: get a grip on reality and some civic responsibility, while you are at it.

    October 14, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  3. Bob

    What more can a society expect when it abrogates the throne and turns it over to a dysfunctional bureaucracy led by a totally inept Liar in Chief who is nothing more than a hand puppet who merely parrots what he is told to say? We have no one to blame but our sorry selves who have given over the power of the people to a gang of self indulgent tyrants.
    "When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is a usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself."

    October 14, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  4. Kathy

    I suggest you guys take another look at that constitution that you keep accusing Republicans of violating. Article III gives the House of Representatives the power of the purse, and yes it is meant to reign in a power grabbing president. Read federalist # 58 and tell me again what you think you know. POTUS does not get to dictate to the congress, and you need to wrap your brains around that. 76% of population wants POTUS to negotiate per CBS poll today. The requests being made are very modest and Bill Clinton would have taken them long before a shutdown. Read some history and learn how our government works before you make yourself look like a fool.

    October 14, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  5. Missourian

    The Quran comment....I guess the Tea Party is no longer endorsing freedom of religion in this country unless its Christian.
    Another one of our rights would be gone if they are left unchecked.
    I hope their cultlike followers do not follow so blindly that they allow these subtle hints to go unnoticed.
    As a christian,I know the bible stated false prophets would come and I believe we are seeing them now.Promoting things my Jesus would NEVER stand for.

    October 14, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  6. Pamela

    The Republican Party should seriously consider expelling the Tea Party. Since Tea Party has so much support, they should be able to garner up their own supporters and monies without being tied to the Republican Party.

    October 14, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  7. livingston

    Crazy people being lead by the insane. Does anyone believe this will end well?

    October 14, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  8. Mcman71

    Don't even understand why Obama is getting blamed for the shutdown. He didn't veto anything. He did not use executive order to shut down the government. Now Boehner? His policy of not allowing a vote on ANYTHING unless it is supported by a majority of HIS party, has caused this. Mr. Boehner, you are the the Speaker of the House. Not solely of the speaker of the GOP. You have the power to allow a vote today on the clean spending bill that has already passed the Senate. The Govennment can reopen tomorrow.

    October 14, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  9. buck pirro smith

    so the republicans are all racists are they? why because there wasn't a lot of diversity at the rally? everyone was invited...if people chose not to attend it is their problem...or maybe they were too busy trying to log onto the exchanges for obamacare? figuring there is another freebie they can get their hands on? or maybe they were out committing a crime...or maybe generating more offspring for the rest of us taxpayers to pay for....barack Hussein may or may not be a muslimand may or may not have been morn in Kenya but he is one awful president and I don't care what color he is

    October 14, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  10. strangerq

    Shut it down.
    Shut it down.

    Tea party rallying cry.

    Now pretend its the president who did it and not you.

    swell buncha lYing heaters you are.

    October 14, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  11. American Worker

    Leading by example.
    The Presidents example is what spawns such declared observations of his conduct.

    Many who understand Mercy and Grace know that the principles of Liberty and Freedom are being subverted by this Presidents Coercion, Malice, Guile, Compulsory Dictates, Selective Enforcement of our Laws, and the Partiality of his Rule through Regulations and Fiat.

    October 14, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  12. Jack Be Humble

    Where do they get this stuff? President Obama is a Christian. He was born in Hawaii. He has a name that sounds different that "William Jefferson Clinton", but that makes him no less an American.

    October 14, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  13. TJC

    I don't know if Obama is truly Christian but if the Tea Party is truly representative of Christianity who would want to be a Christian? The "fruits of The Spirit" according to the tea party: hate, bigotry, ignorance, and lies.
    Hate: for democrats, gays, scientists and other experts, government and it's employees, and the poor and disabled. Bigots: assume Obama is Muslim for no other reason than his name. Assume he is not American because of his skin color. Ignorance: they actually think Obama is responsible for the shutdown when it is an act of Congress. Lies: Some of them know the hateful and ignorant Tea Party clams to be untrue, but parrot them anyway. Yes, what great Christian witnesses they are. With more "Christians" like them the next generation will be completely atheists. And if this is what Christianity is, our nation will be the better for it.

    October 14, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  14. Pamela

    There is a procedure in place when government is shutdown. Why are the Republicans not aware of this simple fact? That is a troubling. The Republicans are the ones who were so giddy and persistent to shut down the government. The smiles on their faces was the only answer one needed. They are glad to take the country to another economic downturn. So many suffering at their hands right now.

    October 14, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  15. charles bowen

    This is about religion its about a Republican Teabagger mentality that Respects no one and Demonizes any one who has a different opinion....No Compromise, No Prisoner, Scourched Earth , My way or the Highway, Johnny Yuma, South Will rise again, Brain Dead, Mentality.....You Lost the Civil War and you will loose this war too.....This Country Is Sick with the disease of Teapublicanism.....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 14, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  16. Angela Long

    This is to show not all vets are worthy of the respect we offer... It is to show they are ignorant as to what this nation stands for; for what Democracy means. They rec'v support from taxpayers which includes minorities and people from all religious beliefs. If they had any integrity behind their hate, they'd return any monies rec'd and die like dogs in the street, rather than accept money from minorities and people not of the Christian faith.

    October 14, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  17. Ken

    Gosh if michelle bachman was there they would of had the teabilly triple threat

    October 14, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  18. JanS

    This is one of the most shameful things I have ever seen. It illustrates why something must be done about propaganda in this country.

    October 14, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Tea party, republician party, or the democratic party... they're all the same. Everyone stop shouting at each other for one minute and step back and look. All of them are bad people in it for themselves. These guys get their salaries the rest of their lives. For doing what?? the government is a disaster. we need the goevernment to be replaced. It's our duty and responsibility. From the Declaration of Independence... Read this carefully and slowly... we are here... "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Only back then they didn't know how big and POWERFUL the government would get. I fear there will and must be another civil war to "right" us back on the path of being a proud nation.

    October 14, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  20. JjkName

    A disgraceful public display of bigotry, religious intolerance, racism and profound ignorance!
    These fanatics don't realise how the people they follow ie Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz are simply opportunist demagogues pandering to the worst feelings of prejudice and fear that they can inflame and make money from!!!

    October 14, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  21. Willie

    I am a Muslim and all I can say that this guy need major help upstairs!
    I strongly believe the next congress will be all democrats "house and senate" including the president.

    October 14, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  22. Marcia

    The Republican party needs to take its party back and kick out the tea party feeding of their popwer-the Tea Party is out to kill the US Govt and you need to put them out on their own -Let Ted Cruz -Canadian -run for President and he will see just exactly what America thinks of him
    Nice work Koch brothers-your minions are going to cost you millions

    October 14, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  23. Sam Kincade

    Let us get this clear. President Obama did not shut down the Government, the House (of idiots) did. He is not a Muslim and he is an American. Please vote these idiots out next election. If they did not like the Affordable Health Care Act aka Obamacare, they had three years to revise it. Did they, no! Instead, they put people out of work while they collect a pay check.

    And, here is what I ask people against this President: If we prayed that God put the right man in the White House, are we saying that God got it wrong? I think not.

    October 14, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  24. Strangways

    "...with help from a few Republican members of congress the vets were allowed to enter"? The Republicans CAUSED the shutdown in the first place! These sleaze-bags are playing both sides of the street! why am I not surprised?

    October 14, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  25. carlos

    These guys prove that the fringe on the right is almost as dumb as the fringe on the left.

    October 14, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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