October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
9 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. Rosslaw

    The tea baggers who voted for the gov't shutdown obviously did not know that the federal gov't maintained memorials and landmarks. The tea bagger House members act surprised to find various parts of the gov't actually shut down. I think I have been underestimating the depths of their stupidity.

    October 14, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. sergio

    Ted Cruz and Michelle Beckman “cash registers” are filling their coffers with millions of dollars from ignorant fools like the ones parading this weekend at the 2nd WW memorial, this pair of self-proclaimed American Patriot are just snake-oil-panhandlers, taking money from gullible and ignorant that believes in their propaganda and lies…

    October 14, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Jerry g

    A nation divided cannot stand. Come on. Will we do ourselves in with our petty bickering and divided opinions? I read these posts and they are sad. This is what we have become? A nation of people who can never agree on what is best for our country. Sad. Sad.

    October 14, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Mystique

    You know it amazes me the folks on here blaming Pres Obama for closing this memorial, museum, etc. I'm sorry but it was Ted Cruz and his nonsense that has led to the government being closed and last I checked these national museums and memorials are staffed by Federal workers who ARE NOT WORKING. If the Federal workers are not able to work, because of Ted Cruz and the other tea party idiots, then why would these museums and memorials be open???? And the next time the tea party says they are not racist, please remind them of this rally. If ever there was a group of people that needed to buy a clue and solve the puzzle, there fools are them. I just hope voters remember this come election time and show them the door.

    October 14, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. A Canadian

    The lowest of the low-information voters come out to make America look stupider than the rest of the world already thinks it is...

    Go ahead... Keep voting against your own interests and then blame the black guy.

    October 14, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Jim in Wauwatosa

    I saw these loud mouths on the local news last night. The so called'liberal media' failed to say this was a partisan event but I knew it all along when I saw the composition of the crowd. Angry white bigots who have nothing else to do because any first grader will tell you that shutting down government parks is the fiscal thing to do which is what the tea party is supposed to be about. But no, they're really about a black president in the white house. The tea party dog & pony show at the white house insisting that govt functions remain open remind me of their rallys demanding the government to "keep its hands off my government medicare"

    October 14, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. David Nelson

    As a retired Military Veteran (24 years of service) I am angry and disgusted when these morons try to bill this as a Veterans Protest against Obama. This kind of hate filled rage is unacceptable and they certainly do not speak for me so. As a Veteran quit making it seems like all Veterans support this kind of garbage because I can assure you we do not!

    October 14, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Pamela

    Looks like some of those at the rally are receiving hand outs from the government. They probably advocate that their benefits not be touched. However, stop all benefits of others that are not approved by the GOP.

    October 14, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. Sarah

    The memorials in DC and National Parks around the country are closed, not because of President Obama, but because the House and the Senate could not pass a funding bill. It's as simple as that. The Sarah Palins and Ted Cruz' of America are the ones that are ruining this country. It's disgusting that these people have nothing better to do than to stage some pathetic protest. The republicans in congress and their tea party leader John Boehner are the ones to blame for the shut down. They insisted on putting clauses to defund the Affordable Care Act. Their plan backfired because "Obama Care" is still here and people are signing up for it in record numbers. Obviously it's something this country needs.

    October 14, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Phil in KC

    This just goes to show how extreme these people are. it also goes to show how ignorant they are. Anyone who still believes Obama is a Muslim is blinded by their hatred. And, even if he were, so what? This is a country all about religious freedom. I don't care what his religion is. I care about his policies and, so far, I've not seen any Islamic agenda. But the Tea Party cannot challenge him on the issues, so they spew lies and hatred.

    October 14, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Cpl Stu

    I was actually going to attend this but I'm glad I didn't. Seeing the cancer that showed up (Palin and her fascist Tea bag party) makes me sick.. Her and her goons are the reason we can't make a compromise in the first place.

    October 14, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. jb1963

    The white racist anti Americans were out in force. But they seem to be getting smaller as time goes on and they realize it is their own who are causing all the problems.

    October 14, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. paul

    They certainly aren't Christians, although that is what they claim to be. Christianity does not teach hate. A Christian is supposed to practice the Ten Commandments: do not lie, do not steal, love your neighbor, etc. Christians know and practice those teachings. These tea party-types and their leaders, the half-governor Palin et al., spew hate and venom all the time. So, they are definitely not Christian, have not Christian value or family values they claim to have.. They must be followers of Satan himself, the anti-Christ. Only such people would continually lie and cheat and attempt to get away with it too, because they have gotten away with it for so long. But this is the twenty-first century, they will not get away with it. They will be exposed for what they are: Satan himself. Liars and Cheaters!

    October 14, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. Brian

    If only the Republicans would spend this much effort in attempting to work with the President!! I think people already realize that the Tea Party movement is all about "SHOCK", but no "SUBSTANCE". Notice how they could care less about the Death Benefits that were messed up by their hijacking!

    October 14, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. PJ

    I'm amazed that CNN and the rest of the Mainstream media have either ignored or tried to marginalize what was happening here. This really isn't a "teaparty" issue, this was the veterans of various wars this Government has supported, protesting the authoritarian dictatorial way this administration chose to conduct itself during the shut down. And people who are unable to understand that these veterans are taxpaying, voting Americans who ONCE AGAIN are being treated as less than human by the very Government that has USED up their lives in it's endless wars and meddling in other countries business, and have the right to protest, those people are completely subjegated to Government tyranny. Secondly, how would CNN or any other media outlet know WHO was there? Did they go and interview people? Poll the people to see how many of those veterans are DEMOCRATS? No. They did not. The Media is being used, and freedom as we know it is being subverted with their acquiescence.

    October 14, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Ratt

    The orders to shutdown the Memorial Park came from Obama. To say anything different is lying.

    October 14, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Data Driven

    @David,

    "Now who is the racist?"

    I don't know! What's your point? While reading about your church was terribly fascinating, what does that have to do with rebellion rally described in this article?

    October 14, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. Newz4i

    Put the Quran down? They saw one? Rallies of hallucinatory extremists.

    October 14, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. SAtireBound88

    Belligerent undesirables should know their place; not being seen OR heard. Arrest them and their's and send them to the camps.

    October 14, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. Mary Leeper

    I can't believe, but then again I do, the insane and ignorant antics that the republicans will do to shift the blame of this shutdown. Quitter Palin and Raphael (Cuban) Cruz are now running the Replican Party, while Boehner is so afraid of losing his speakership, that he's letting them do it. If I were a republican, and I was under the leadershp of the teaparty, I'd shoot myself. What a sad bunch of so called leaders. All Boehner has to do is call the vote, but he's afraid it'll pass and then he'll be uprooted from his seat. This party is truly sad. How can they blame President Obama, when they have such poor leaders!!! He's not running for President in 2016, so all he's trying to do now is fix what the past republicans broke and destroyed. Open your eyes people...if you continue to let the republicans blame President Obama for their failures, there will continue to be shutdowns!!!

    October 14, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. cc423

    These grandstanding tea party idiots are a joke. They lost the last election and the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare and now they shut down the government like a bunch of babies. And then they have the gall to stand in front of a monument THEY closed and whine about the government being closed. How stupid can you get.

    October 14, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. Dan

    There's a certain threshold of idiocy beyond which one wonders why the media are even reporting on the sidewalk rants of the mentally ill. Larry Klayman is nothing more than an indicator of the failings of the mental health system in getting people like him the help they so obviously need.

    October 14, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Pamela

    The Tea Party gives the impression that many if not all Veterans support them. However, there are Veterans such as myself who see this party spouting untruths and stirring up civil disobedience. People should be concerned if not alarmed about the TGOP. Sadly, the Republican Party willingly welcomed the Tea Party into their midst.

    October 14, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. BadEnglishTypo

    We need a war on stupidity. Hate comes from stupidity. People who claim to be superior in race or religion are the stupidest people on earth and this stupdity shown by mostly Christians and muslims around the world. Mocking other religious beliefs or mocking each other, these two religious people and their race is mostly cause for concern eventhough people with Christian faith also the cause of many positive changes in the world.

    October 14, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Uh-Clem

    This tin foil hat conspiracy brigade is not America, never was America, and never will be America. This country cannot afford to have screw balls like these anywhere near a government elected office. Noting but anarchists.

    October 14, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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