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. jo2

    That crowd is ready for lynching.

    October 14, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    So FUNNY!! If you still think Obama is a Muslim, there is a good chance you are an idiot! lol

    October 14, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. NWJoe

    Obviously, many of the misinformed believe the "stuff" that comes out of the mouths of Hannity, Limbaugh and Beck

    October 14, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. swangtime

    was this a KKK rally? It sounds like it.

    October 14, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Scott

    There is no place in American society for this type of hate. We are a civil society and should work through issues in a respectful and responsible way. The Tea Party, led by Cruz and Palin are doing nothing but dividing the country by spreading hate and mis-information, while putting the brakes on democratic majority rule. These people are welcome to have their voice, but the majority better rally together soon and take back our country before it's too late.

    October 14, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Guy

    Toilet Party has rabies and racism. Gross ignorance and blatant lies like this are why America is tuning them out.

    October 14, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. gb333

    "Any government that would shut out veterans"

    This is where you all lost me. Here you are trying to use something most people highly respect. Veterans. So you take "Veterans" and you take that "Federal Memorials" are shut down. And you directly tie it to Obama.

    So if anyone speaks against you. They are speaking against Veterans.

    Nevermind the fact that the Tea party side of the GOP started this holy fiasco. Oh no, lets just blame Obama.

    Its so ridiculous I wonder what is wrong wit these people.

    First Obama is not against veterans. Second he did not cause this shutdown. Third if you do want to blame Obama, you should blame everyone. Including the Tea Party guys. Vote them out.

    October 14, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. swangtime

    Was this a KKK Rally? The characters seem to be the same, they just forgot to wear their white hoods.

    October 14, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Vapor

    All you people on here are misguided individual that are in a cloud of propaganda. This had nothing to do with the Tea Party. THEY WERE ALL VETERANS! They fought for this country and i see people saying that they should be put in jail and strip of citizenship! All you computer jockeys around here need to go eat some more food you stole with your EBT cards and pull your head out of your A$$!

    October 14, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. cedar rapids

    ‘Mirage – There may not have been a million, yet I do not see where the "Million Muslim" march had but a mere handful of people, and the haters here did not post derisive comments and try to minimize, marginalize or otherwise DISENFRANCHISE them’

    You are kidding me right? You suffer from blinkered vision or something because boy there was certainly some hate aimed at that march.

    ‘We can all see that the frothing "liberal" vets do not give one care in the world for their own BROTHERS because of a difference in opinion. You know who you are and you are disappointing and dishonorable.’

    And yet you also slam ‘liberal’ Vet BROTHERS because of a difference in opinion and claim that to be justified right? Talking of disappointing and dishonorable.

    October 14, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. HiPlainsDrifter

    It is so sad that the idiot, Barrack Hussein Obama, has stooped so low as to shut down monuments, memorials, and national parks. Funny how his golf course is still open. What an anti-American piece of crap!

    October 14, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. GH

    Seriously, though ... all that talk about the Quran contributes to the tea birthers' reputation for hate and ignorance. Wannabe Queen-of-the-World Palin spoke of soldiers being "used" by the government. It was mostly the warmongering rethugs who recruited soldiers with promises of glory and benefits and patriotic talk of God and country, then kicked them to the barracks when they were through using them. Everything these people blame on Obama, liberals and the government are the very things they themselves are guilty of and attempt to transfer the blame. And I still say they won't be happy until it's a straight white Christian male U.S.A. - which it wasn't in the first place when their ancestors came over the Mayflower and stole it from the Native Americans, and never will be.

    October 14, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. yourNuts

    Funny how they still have rangers riding around issuing tickets but can't keep the parks open. Spending money to keep people out but can't pay to keep these areas open.

    October 14, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. James

    With all the legitimate things to criticize Obama about, I really wish they'd let go of the Muslim/Kenyan nonsense. Beating that dead horse really makes those doing it look like fools and distracts people from real issues. I've been very disappointed in Obama overall, but calling him Muslim is just ridiculous and it's pretty clear that he was born in Hawaii.

    October 14, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Bill

    Hate mongers, crack pots, screw balls... there just is no logical explanation for what comes out of the mouths of some peoples kids. Does anyone wonder why govt is broken?

    October 14, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. mike

    I am sure the President will figuratively come out with his hands up, when the TEA party figuratively comes out from under those sheets.

    October 14, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Stop making sense

    Remember when the GOP was relevant?

    October 14, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. mike

    To think this idiot Sarah Palin is still out there making these comments. We are in this position because of people like her and the rest of these morons from the tea party.

    It's pretty insulting that people are so ignorant.

    October 14, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Tammy

    Amazing...tea-baggerparty PROTESTING a shutdown THEY caused... what hypocrites.

    October 14, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. n62

    Where do the likes of Larry Klayman get their ideas from? I don't understand people like that. And the remark "Our veterans should be above politics." Does that mean they are above the law? I don't think that would sit very well with others. I'm not American, I live elsewhere, and I'm glad. I have a number of friends from your country, from both sides of your political fence, so I have no stake in any of your government's shenanigans... but you guys are seriously messed up.

    October 14, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Erik

    Wow. Scary people. What happened to them? So much hate.

    October 14, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Tony

    We have become a lawless nation with a leader who wants to dictate. Republicans have offered concessions that include cutting spending. Why does this president refuse to cut spending?

    October 14, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. BobZemko

    The Tea Party looks like Floyd R. Turbo come to life.

    October 14, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Cinman

    The hoods will come out next.

    October 14, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Dr Tod Policandriotes

    The consequences of unchecked capitalism are the "tonic salesmen". You remember the cure all tonics that traveling salesmen used to make from all kinds of nasty stuff not knowing what it will actually do to a person. This is the kind of stuff that would be sold in a un-regulated capitalistic society that the Tea party wants. The ideal is to get rich in whatever way you can,......is wealth really that important or is health more important?

    October 14, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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