October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
10 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. Catori

    "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".

    See – the USA is a land of religious freedom, except for specific religions.

    October 14, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Tammy Dalian

    hows that HOPE & CHANGE thing working out for you OBAMA voters?

    October 14, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Robert N. constant

    The Koch Brothers and a small coterie of other plutocrats are the de facto leaders of the Republican Party. The Congressmen and Senators they have bought dance on their puppet strings. The time has come to boycott as many businesses owned by Republicans as possible. Look around . You will probably be able to find the good and services you need sold by Independents and Democrats. For starters, Conoco, Chevron, Union and Union 76 gas is owned by the Koch Brothers. Arbees and Papa Gino's have moved to deny their employees health insurance, blaming it on the Affordable Care Act.

    October 14, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Christopher

    "a second american nonviolent revolution..." sooooo, when was the first?"

    October 14, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Dustin

    Yeah Joe, I do want more government and higher taxes than none at all. I enjoy the services that the government supplies for us such as mail delivery, schools, hospitals, the FDA organizations that help keep us alive. The government isn't some huge scary being it is elected officials by the people. If you think less government and lower taxes is the solution move to Somalia or something where that is the truth and tell me how that goes for you.

    October 14, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Jake Costa

    Just remember, you voted for him. And by not showing up to vote in the first place, let's count that as a Barrack vote as well.

    October 14, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Alex

    Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, Senator Ted Cruz and other "high profile" speaker are just there for a "photo op" as neither of these two never served our country and should be ashamed to use veterans as political footballs.

    October 14, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Zack

    First off I love how the only way this stry got any ANY attention is because one man said something about Obama and a Quran. In fact the entire thing was called the Million Veteran March to force open the gates of all the Veteran memorials in the country not just in DC. Funny how the Left wing media seemed to ignore this entire story. As a certian woman on here asked how many of these people are receiving Govt benefits, I would say almost all of them are being as they have earned those benefits with BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS. Those are almost entirely veterans of your military Pam why not show them the respect they earned.

    October 14, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Dana

    Charge everyone, including the 'Vets', who trespassed on closed government property and add destruction of federal property to the charges, those barriers are considered federal property. Sad that those who at one time were in the military and took an Oath of Office at one time could be talked into breaking the law by the likes of Pouting Palin and Crazy Cruz!!

    October 14, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. James3

    Where do we get this stuff - Go to youtube and search for "Obama Muslim" and you will hear in his own words when he was a candidate that he is Muslim. Google "Obama yearbook" and you will see a page from his yearbook where he said he was from Kenya. His birth certificate says his father was born in Kenya ( Kenya was not called Kenya when he was born). The hospital named on his birth certificate was not called that when he was born. His mother was a US Citizen which makes the argument void but he still LIED.

    October 14, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Florida Personal Injury Attorney

    Senator Cruz should know better than blaming the government for erecting barricades. If someone got hurt at the Memorial when it was closed, with no worker's inspecting and supervising the area for hazards, and there were no barricades, some nitwit would have said there was no warning that it was closed so the government is too blame. You politicians are dangerous boy. Go back to Capitol Hill and do your job to help these veterans instead of posing with them just for a photo-op. Shameless!

    October 14, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Dana

    Ted Cruz, David Duke's new BFF!!

    October 14, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Lone wolf

    Finally the tea party is showing it's true face: racist filled with anger and hate towards the President and the majority of America! Everyone should speak up against these racist hate filled individuals.

    October 14, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. OIFVet

    Why not call themselves what they really are, "the same old we hate Obama Club"! Any Veteran in his right mind will never take marching orders from Moron Generals Palin, Cruz, Beck or Alex Jones all inciting & provoking Veterans. From behind they're military microphones, what a joke!

    October 14, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. you_people_are_ridiculous

    1. Tea Party Republicans are 100% at fault for the shutdown.
    2. Whether Obama is a Muslim or not is irrelevant. The voicing of him needing 'to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees' seems to be hateful speech against religion. Freedom of Religion is part of the Freedom of Speech right that these people are exercising. Get a clue...
    3. Taking down the barricades and making a pile of them elsewhere simply creates a mess that someone else will need to clean up. The President isn't cleaning it up.

    the rally seems to be held by a bunch of idiots. Top name Republicans included.

    October 14, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Smellferd

    Whos blowing the horns?

    October 14, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Seriously

    Republicans are the best thing to everr happen to democrats. All the dems need to do is sit quietly while loons like this keep yapping.

    October 14, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Henderway

    I just LOVE this behavior from the Tea Party. The Democrats are so smart to just sit back and let these clowns take front and center and continue to destroy the Republican party brick by brick. All of this hate STILL falls under the REPUBLICAN umbrella. And they can't understand why they can't reclaim the White House. To the Ted Cruz's, Klyman's & the Palin's, on behalf of the Democratic Party, WE THANK YOU. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!

    October 14, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Mike

    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."

    Hey, Cruz, you idiot: YOU wanted the shutdown. Now shut your Canadian mouth!

    October 14, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Brewer

    More posts here than attended this event. The Tea Party should stop talking as if they represent even a modest portion of this country.

    October 14, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    An imbecile said: "People on this site have been conditioned to attack tea party patriot groups with insults and slurs. Rather than looking at these people with an open mind they attack them."

    Another imbecile, named Larry Klayman, mindlessly blurted over a microphone in Washington: ""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"

    As one imbecile said to the other...

    October 14, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. cedar rapids

    'buck pirro smith .....so the republicans are all racists are they? why because there wasn't a lot of diversity at the rally?'
    No, because they say things like ' figuring there is another freebie they can get their hands on? or maybe they were out committing a crime...or maybe generating more offspring for the rest of us taxpayers to pay for'
    Thats why.

    October 14, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Fr33d0mhawk

    Birthers are the American Taliban, rife with monumental moral relativism, hypocrisy and bigotry all the while using the Lord's name in the most vain ways imaginable, abominating Christianity in the process. The Taliban clings to lies just like the Teaparty and just like the Teaparty, the Taliban uses those lies to abominate their own religion and their own values and incite destruction and terrorism. The Teaparty thinks any government for rich people or corporations is too much, but the Teaparty also considers Orwellian intrusion into the lives of We the People as not nearly enough government. As a veteran I am sickened by such seditious blowhards spouting their rabblerousing lies designed to foment terrorism. I was politically not a fan of Bush, but because Bush was my president, I refused to tell lies in order to gin up hatred, and I would have taken a bullet to save Bush's life. That is what makes me a patriot and the "veteran" in the article a traitor akin to Tim McVeigh.

    October 14, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. bob

    CNN: Why do you give this guy a soapbox for his stupid comments?

    October 14, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. davidmesirow

    It's funny but not surprising that the tea party is getting mad at Obama when it's clearly the Republicans who are responsible for shutting the government down and closing the memorials. They'll just blame anything and everything on Obama even if it's their own representatives who caused the problem.

    October 14, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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