October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
1 year 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. zz

    JJM your note made my day. Have a good Monday!

    October 14, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Steffan

    Stupid people say stupid things.

    October 14, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. hey

    All we need now is a Hitler reference and this circus will be complete.

    October 14, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. lionroar

    Wow, is this the twilight zone? What the heck is that doofus talking about? Is there a relation to tea and morons?

    October 14, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Siestasis

    Tea (Taliban) Baggers are nuts. Their poll numbers are dropping as more Americans realize that they are willing to sacrifice our economy for their far right wind ideas.

    October 14, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. bushkilledthegop

    These people have mental issues

    October 14, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Jay

    What is wrong with the Quran anyway? Why is it looked upon negatively? If he would had said Bible or Torah, this wouldn't even be a story. What if Obama were a Muslim? How does that in any way take away from his ability to govern? It is the US after all, where people are supposed to be judged based on their credentials, not on what they look like or believe in. Or, is this not the case?

    October 14, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Philip

    I hope independent voters are learning that they can not trust the GOP to govern... I imagine the noise will get even louder when they lose control of the house.

    October 14, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. JSmith

    I don't like Obama either, but to say he is a Muslim and bows down to Allah is just ridiculous. Where are these people coming from.

    October 14, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. jmathewjoseph

    What I don't understand is what if the President of United States is a Muslim? What is wrong with that? What if Obama is a Muslim? Our constitution does not say that the president of united states should be a certain religion. So by making these ridiculous statements you will probably get publicity but am not sure if it would help in the long run.

    I agree veterans of this nation deserve respect and all the president has been doing is keeping our soldiers alive by avoiding unnecessary wars.

    October 14, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. jayh

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    October 14, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. jack

    Sorry @ strangway the gop ask to fund the military and never before in any gov shut down has our parks and memorial has been closed..Obama did this and the vets know.so your opinion isn't diddly..They standing with the Americans not the communist party who took over the democratic party..

    October 14, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. TED

    I used to be a Christian, but stopped when the TeaPottiers and the Republican party hijacked it for subversive use. The TeaPottiers and the Repubthugs can all move to Syria. Bye.

    October 14, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. vinster76

    someone please accurately tell me why all the hate for the Tea party?? They want smaller government, less taxation, and government OUT of the lives of americans with the exception of a national defense.......who would not want that????

    October 14, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Like the way this is reported. These were american vets. The very ones that at some point was willing to put their life on the line so we could sit on our butts and moan and groan about how bad things are.

    October 14, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Julie Labrouste

    The shut-down is entirely the responsibility of Boehner and the republican/tea party. But protest a lie all you want.

    October 14, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Pete Frampton

    Marginalizing the minority or the dissidents will only make them stronger. After all your years of reporting news on the global level, CNN, this is one lesson that you should have learned by now because the US has historically sent money to support dissidents in so many countries since your early days in broadcasting. Every group has its share of extremists who are intolerant and vengeful in their tone-including some who claim to be enlightened in this discussion.

    October 14, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. jack

    So liberal because vets protest they now nuts and T partiers? Because they don't belong to the unions who protest all the time they are not allowed? When they do they crazy..Exact reason they protesting the likes of people like you liberal communist..

    October 14, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Nodack

    I am so sick and tired of GOP BS. They close the government down and then complain that Democrats shut down the government. Pfft.

    I just love propaganda.

    October 14, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Tinku

    Hmm... Interesting.. A President following the Qur'an did what no one else could.. Get healthcare for all the poor and underprivileged instead of all the predecessors who fought for guns for all and spent all our resources building destructive weapons that would shed blood of Human beings (especially non American).

    Time to reflect .....

    No wonder Islam the fastest growing religion in America.

    October 14, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Jesse

    @Hogan's Goat, they are from Earth but I'm more than sure they come from a town called Moran, Texas. Yes, such a place does exist.

    October 14, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. David

    I am really tired of the right wing zealots and their insane ideas. I think they spend their weekends trying to figure out ways to make Ronal Reagan come back to life. In their dreams they hope Hitler has a second coming.

    October 14, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. lawrence king

    These monuments are we the peoples! dont forget that Obama. Bad choice to shut them down trying top make the american people suffer, same with the National Parks that are self supporting revenue generators.

    October 14, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. cameron

    That's ridiculous. Stupid Tea Party doesn't realize they are being out smarted and basically dismantled as a relevant political party. Too ignorant to know that they will be decimated at the polls next election. Everyone knows the President was raised Baptist and remains true to his Baptist faith. His entire family is Baptist. But ignorant GOP and the more conservative splinter group of no bodies just try to stir up their ignorant following by making up crap. Embarrassing. By the way Tea Party folks, that round Bill in your hand, it's your hat. Enjoy disappearing into the shadows as your laughed out of Political Relevance. For their next trick they will fold up like lawn chairs and sign the very same bill that has been sitting there all along. Rarely do you see a President with such political prowess and put a noose around the collective Republican party. Well done Mr. President, well done. Will go down as one of the smartest and most powerful Presidents in recent history. I don't remember seeing the GOP take such a beating by a sitting President. Not only that, the Democrats are sure to control the House, the Senate and the Presidency for the foreseeable future. Boy what a coup. The GOP is in big trouble and to watch them implode from within is priceless.

    October 14, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. james Pfeiffer

    The sickening racism perpetrated by this ignorant, paranoid degenerate staggers the imagination. I was watching the video of this hate mongering muckraker and couldn't help but focus on the lemmings gathered behind him who were stupidly nodding their heads in assent as he garbled out his porridge of porous, moldy crap. The real issue in this country is its rapidly increasing stupidity. That this lunatic even has actual human beings agreeing with him is a real comment on our state of affairs in this country. Unfortunately democracy, like my poor old pussy willow tree at the end of this summer, is dying. Soundbites, paranoia and ignorance rules the day.

    October 14, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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