October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
6 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 (2,571 Responses)
  1. Jen in AK

    How dare they? How can tea partiers, their hands filthy with their own misdeeds, blame the shutdown on ANYONE but themselves? Disgusting!!! THEY, not the President, not the Democrats, not the moderate voices left in the GOP, are the cause of the nation's malfunctions and the source of all that's wrong in Washington. Hateful, spiteful, ignorant idiots. Fire them all!!!

    October 14, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Jason Scott

    Joe

    Obama is the biggest divider this country has ever seen, and given he is the POTUS it's pathetic. There's nobody for libs to complain to about the Tea Party other then themselves. If they wouldn't have gone so far yo the left, there wouldn't have been a vacuum for the Tea Party to fill.
    --------------------------------------------------

    The Democrats are center left.
    The Tea party is so far right, they cant see the center anymore.
    That's why all Republicans look like Rinos.
    The right wing nuts are destroying the GOP.
    You are deaf dumb and blind.
    That's OK it will be decades before you ever have the White House again.

    October 14, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Anna

    This kind of crazy talk is what makes it hard for people to take conservatives seriously. It's why so many young people are turning away from conservativism. I'm happy with that but I do wonder what happened to intelligent, reasonable conservatives who had actual logic behind some of their ideas. This Palin, Trump, Bachman era of conservatives is nuttier than a squirrel's stash. Bizarre.

    October 14, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Dave

    obama and the dems are really doing a lot of damage to this country. they need to stop spending and start creating jobs...full time jobs!

    October 14, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. rickchall

    i like how not once do they say vet. in this article, replaced it with conservatives, it was are veterns who took the barricades down assholes

    October 14, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Bill

    It's sad to watch delusional people as you see in this video. It's even sadder that they are helping to ruin our beloved country because they hate a "black man" who happens to be president of this great country. This "black man" beat them twice to become and remain president of this great country and they can't stand it.

    October 14, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. Anonymous

    "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."

    Wow, this *fill in your choice of name here* just told the President to "come out with his hands up"? "Put down the Quran"? And we are to believe this rally was "patriotic"? Obamaphobes united against all sanity and rational.

    October 14, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. wydok

    I'm not sure if this is funny or sad.

    October 14, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. John M

    The GOP has to act to shed the noose that the "Tea Party" has wrapped around the neck of the party. It's a political disaster.

    October 14, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Hiruu

    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.

    Exactly! Just because you are a Vets, doesn't mean you are some super elite citizen...no...in fact, you ARE a Vet to prevent that. I'm getting ready to go to Afghanistan for the 2nd time in lest than 3rd, and you don't see me asking to be treated as some super citizen. These are nothing more than the Tea Baggers, who some happen to be Vets, using this as an excuse to push their agenda...completely shameful.

    October 14, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Grumpymedic

    Anyone who continues to think Obama is a Muslim must put down their crack pipe.

    October 14, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Mr.Howdydoody

    Kinda funny. When lots of people show up that want our government fixed, it's barely a blip on MSM news, but when 20 people show up for a pro Obama rally, it's the will of the people and the vast majority of Americans showing support. lol

    October 14, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Tony Antin

    After failing (I think 44 times) to repeal the Affordable Care Act with our democratic legislative processes, the T-party thugs have now kidnapped the government and demanding ransom in the form of defunding the ACA. And they, the kidnappers, complain that the kidnap victims will not negotiate! Astounding!

    October 14, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Peraltarat

    The conservatives need to pick up the bible and learn about the golden rule, how to treat others, and the seven deadly sins that they are so fond of committing – greed being one.

    October 14, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    el rob o

    Obama and the democrats are complete idiots! There is only ONE reason NPS would shut down the memorials and we all know it's to harass conservatives. The democratic/obama agenda is solely to divide Americans and piss off his enemy (conservatives-his words). Even democrats are too prideful to see the role they play in dividing America... obama's plan from day one!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Translation: President Obama has apparently grown a "pair" in his second administration and is no longer going to kowtow to the rethugs' demands, and that REALLY ticks us off! Who does he think he is, President of the United States or something?!

    October 14, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. kevin3g

    This is the mentality of the Tea/republican party! This is the rank stupidity and bigotry we're expected to bargain with.

    October 14, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. blueskies121

    I'm from Cape Town, South Africa. I'm wondering how there could be any doubt that the Tea Party is dragging the USA into the gutter, and using political blackmail to achieve their (mostly misguided) objectives. These psychopaths are voted into office? It's hard to believe that an otherwise proud nation could be so waylaid by baseless vitriolic rightwing hatred and polarisation. They created this mess, now want to blame the Democrats? Seriously? Sarah Palin should be ashamed to be part of this gathering. I mean, she's pretty idiotic at the best of times, but this, I thought, was beneath even her. As for the Qur'an comments, how shameful. One almost recoils at the level of wanton stupidity. Some parties in SA scare me, but they don't come close to the GOP. President Obama, however, has nothing but my respect. Let's hope sanity will prevail, the fallout of default is not something the US (or the world at large) should want to sample anytime soon. Cheers all, Douglas

    October 14, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. manu

    So what if a guy goes overboard with his 1st amendment when he is foolish as well. i see the same with the liberal fanatics here

    October 14, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Vince

    These people just make it easier and easier for Democrats to keep the White House and pick up seats every year. Keep it up Tea Party!

    October 14, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. curious

    Most of them are making excused,they know the Republican Party is the true reason for what is going on in Washington.

    October 14, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Mr.Howdydoody

    Kevin-
    Ahh, yes Joseph Goebbels. He would be very proud of how this Administration has the news outlets spewing propaganda. He would also be proud of the Obama Administration having Hollywood put Pro Obamacare themes into popular TV shows.
    If you see a vast majority of major networks all towing the same line and stifling the same critics, you know they are working for the Propogana Ministry.

    October 14, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. timverba

    While they gathered peacefully for the most part, some were more vocal and shouted at police on horseback. "You work for us," some chanted.

    - – - –

    But they do not because Congress wont pay their wages.

    October 14, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Jackie

    These are the same people who voted for the tea party-backed extremist faction which bragged about shutting down the government. Well, they got their wish- it's shut down- amazing that they are now crying that, hey, government property is off limits! You can't fix stupid.

    October 14, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Steve

    These idiots have no clue what they are even mad at. They just know that Obama is the head of the executive branch, so it must be entirely his fault. He also is not entirely Caucasian (he IS half white), so they automatically assume he is Muslim. If you're going to be angry with him, at least get mad at him for something valid.

    October 14, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. Para Sailin

    I personally saw Obama running around in the middle of the night
    throwing up baracades.
    This Muslim will stop at nothing to offend our vets.
    Thank god thousands died finding those WMD's.

    October 14, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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