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.
As a vet, watching the footage of this video, it scares the bejeesus out of me. As I experienced while in the service, people make HORRIBLE decisions when they are motivated by emotion. The most effective leaders make decisions without emotional bias. The phrase "sleep it off" is anecdotal for a reason. It is because when you are mad, you can say/do things you wouldn't do when thinking clearly. The veterans standing there applauding the silver tongue snake with the bullhorn didn't even realize that they were just a political backdrop, nothing more. They didn't realize that they were applauding the same people who axed the VETERANS JOBS BILL because it cost too much. Did you see McCain out there? No. Why? Because he knows better than most what it means to sacrifice for your country. I hate McCain's politics, but I will always respect the man for making it in that prison camp, and helping the other guys he was with make it through too. The fact that Cruz took advantage of a bunch of veterans to try to further his political cause is infuriating. Those veterans were not just victims though, they should have known better than to allow themselves to be used as political pawns. Mob justice is never just.
These extreme right wing morons are frightening. Calling the president a muslim, calling for a revolution....this is how the Nazi's came to power in the 30's. People like Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin are the new Adolph and Goebbels. The ironic thing about this photo op self-serving protest against the gov't shutdown is that Ted Cruz and the GOP/T-bgrs are the very ones who shut down the gov't....so how do they have the nerve to blame the Dems or White House?
good Lord there are so many stupid people out there. Makes me actually scared to leave the house. The government does nothing to help anyone, I don't know why people are so concerned about. Just work hard and get an education. A simple formula to do well in this country. It doesn't matter who is in office.
Ever notice the tea party rally looks and sounds like a KKK rally except they did not put their hood on (yet). They are such a small whiny extremist group founded and funded by a few wealthy corporations to get hem to do their agenda – less taxes (on the corporations).
Tea Party = KKK ????
It is beginning to look like it more and more. Same lies, same tactics, same demands.
I couldn't agree more with "Oliver Cowdery". I'm not willing to lump everyone into the soup but these Tea Party folks seem to be getting more and more desperate.
"Republican and Proud" – Your are a spineless bigot. If you intend to come off as a foolish sheep shouting hate from soap box, you nailed it. Go back to your hole, people like you make me sick.
Love that nobody sees that the memorial is open to veterans but not to the general public,
"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."
But all of you who only read what you want to, yes keep saying that veterans are being disgraced, keep disregarding the facts of the situation.
Tea Party, the New KKK
These comments are amazing... Republicans did not shut down these sites, the president and his administration did. He did not have to spend MORE money shutting them down, that it would have cost to keep them open. It's amazing that the liberals of this country are so blinded that they blame republicans for the make hurt campaign president obama is running. This is absolute irresponsibility. The shutdown is suppose to save money, not COST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MORE MONEY. All of you liberals are the ones brainwashed, not the other way around
The tea party is finally showing its true colors. They are nothing more than a home grown terrorist group.
Oh Tea Party...I can't believe you can stoop to the level where you have to ask Obama to put Quran down. What do you believe in? Jesus Supremacy? That is reason enough not to vote for you and ignore everything you say. For argumentative purpose, let's say Obama is a Muslim...so what? Is he barred by constitution to be the president? It is pathetic that this immigrant understands the constitution and American values better than you.
John Birchers (modern day tea partiers) now get front page headlines for their psychotic hate filled lies and rants. If professional psychologists examined these people they would all be diagnosed as having "psychotic" episodes and would be medicated. But CNN give them a front page headline. Liberal media indeed. How about the arrests at the mall of all the dems protesting for immigration reform? Why do they get arrested and these fools get Headlines?
How can these Teahadist activities be regarded as anything short of treason. Cruz and Palin should both be arrested.
Do yourself a favor. Look up the history on Larry Klayman. VERY telling.
Idiocy knows no party boundaries. Using the racist card demonstrates questionable analytic ability (to adam six) and there is no doubt the major media leans towards the left; the reporting in this article is quite biased. And, by spending more money to erect barricades with more guards, prohibiting vets from visiting memorials while allowing illegal immigrant rally, the Obama administration is directly to blame.
Did they say they were patriotic or pathetic, They really need to stop tea bagging, its making them crazy
Obama didn't set the barriers. Strangely, that is the National Park Service. The one so thoroughly infiltrated by the right during the Bush/Cheney administration – where "uppity" organizations like the NPS and NASA were given management at pretty much all levels that were loyal to the Republicans. The NPS then cleaned its ranks of "tree huggers" and opened up public lands to development. And NASA started purging the scientists who supported global warming research and evolution teachings.
There is no reason to close the WWII memorial. It is on an open street, and makes no sense. It doesn't have armed guards round the clock anyway.
So I question whether someone in the GOP has told the faithful at the NPS to shutdown everything in order to exaggerate the impact, then stage photo ops to grandstand. Only – it's backfiring.
By the way – Obama may be a minion of Wall Street, but he is no Muslim. But he is black, and that's what Larry Klansman is really all about.
The Tea party is the problem. Right wing extremists who are destroying America. They do not compromise and do not believe in Government. They do not believe in Democracy either. Obama was duly elected twice in landslides by the people of the United States. Tea party are anarchists and terrorists and need to wiped out in the 2014 elections. This is more than a civil war within the GOP party this is a war for Freedom and Democracy for all of America who are being held hostage by a small group who has more in common with the Taliban than with Abraham Lincoln.
There are THREE kinds of Republicans:
(1) One group is busy spreading hatred
(2) Another group is busy denying that the first group exists
(3) The 3rd. group is Colin Powell
Don't believe me? Check by yourself: Just scroll up & down. Go to ANY Internet forum.
no president has gone further to inflict hardship on those who oppose him then this president has. in crises past presidents went on tv to reassure the nation and took steps to lessen the effects of government shutdowns. Mr.Obama does just the opposite. .I understand the political end game, but question the shortsightedness of his ego. keeping his military golf courses open, but denying our wounded, and fallen heroes as well as vets their rights and benefits. this needs to end soon, news outlets like CNN can only cover for him for so long, hopefully the masses will turnout not to be the mindless sheep the ruling class thinks they are.
not only is this a travesty against those brave souls(all veterans) that have made this country great it is an injustice to all true Americans as well. This kind of behavior of any free American press becoming biased is disgusting and revolting essentially they (CNN) relieve themselves from the arena from any credible independent news source and have deteriorated into the bowels of being the administrations lapdog press or a PR campaign for his majesty the king or the man who would be king! Obama!!
"Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights." Thomas Jefferson
"our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."
"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
there is no working with or compromising with this type of hateful ignorant rhetoric...when i here my republican friends tell me that its the same on both sides and both liberals and republicans do it...i literally just have to laugh. We are at an all time low in this nation.
This is the beginning of the end of the Republican party. It's starting to implode, and there will be no stopping it with the extremists/tea party nuts like this running amok.
I feel badly for true conservative Republicans, because I respect the give and take of the 2 party system. But how any group thinks they can run an entire country when they lack the leadership to run their own party is mind boggling!
In this country, the law is, and always has been that MAJORITY RULES. Catch a clue, tea party!
Love these crowds. So the republicans shut down the government and they blame the president personally? When Newt shut down the government did they also shut down access to government sites? Did they call Newt unpatriotic when he did? These right wing nuts really will blame the President for anything in their lives. Can't get a girlfriend, blame Obama. Wife cheated on you, well obviously Obama is personally at fault. Talk radio and tea party politicians should really be brought up on charges of instigating riots.
Teapartiers are domestic terrorists and traitors holding this country and everyone in it hostage until their demands are met. They should be dealt with as such. Period. End of story.