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. kelly

    haha, the 300 vet march more like it. these racists are funny.

    October 14, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. bob

    Yeah okay so CNN focuses on one or two individuals as the basis of their story?? This is so indicative of CNN's bias of their so called news reporting. This is why their is such distrust of msm. Did they treat the recent ILLLEGAl Immigrant protests recently with the same bias? No.

    October 14, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. rosethornne

    Unfortunately, it seems like every couple of generations we have to have an outbreak of the hysterical hater fascist theocrat crowd.
    They're like the herpes of the American spirit.

    October 14, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. kelly

    "Obama is the biggest divider this country has ever seen" – yes because he's black and this country is full of ignorant racists. was that your point?

    October 14, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. MJ

    Yip, these are the people the GOP represents. Interesting that they are protesting the shutdown that they caused......Ignorant means that you simply do not know. What would be the word to describe these people?

    October 14, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. So pathetic

    When will the racist and bigoted of the world wake up to the ignorance. It's so easy for one abusive person to use another's differences to divide, and rally a small number of ignorant people. I agree with everyone else. We should just call this what it is, the KKK.

    October 14, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. cedar rapids

    'Peruna – Ever notice how liberals LOVE to claim how wonderfully tolerant towards all peoples, except of course for anyone that disagrees with them. Then they show their true colors as nothing but brutal fascists who want the expulsion if not outright death of anyone who does not bow before Obama and kiss his ring. You wonder why we on the right are a passionate as we are, because unlike the libs, we cherish liberty, and we know all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.'

    Does the irony of your intolerant post about liberals strike you at all? Or do you just believe that because you dont claim to be tolerant it is therefore ok to make claims of brutal fascism that wants to kill people, hating liberty and being evil?

    October 14, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Mike

    Obama is the CEO of this mess
    If a CEO was brought into a dysfunctional workplace, and 5 years later it was even worse off. That CEO would be held accountable for not getting it done, that simple. No matter how you feel about the Tea Party, Washington wouldn't even being talking right now if not for them. I don't know a bunch about the Tea Party folks, but I want to thank them. Thank You for finally making our President realize ALL AMERICANS matter, and not just some Americans. Especially Obama's exempt buddies from this new ACA law we've got now.

    October 14, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Guy Fawkes

    This article isn't biased at all.

    October 14, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Beth

    Praying for GOD to move on these media networks. How sad to me to hear such bigotry. You call them bigots and what are you doing? GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY!! I will never watch CNN again.

    October 14, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. John the Historian

    This right-winged nutcases need to get out of their bubble world of rumour news and out of the Faux News bubble, the CBN bubble an the Rush bubble. Yellow journalism is evil. McCarthyism is evil. Get over it President Obama won and was born in Hawaii and is a Christian.

    October 14, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. cedar rapids

    'Janet – What next – is Moochelle going to comment again about 'all of this for a flag?" Pull up the video and see her. Be sure to note Oweasel's response, too.'

    Yeah bring up the video and lets HEAR her say it.....oh what, no one actually heard her say it? It was something that a 'lip reader' on Fox claimed she said by watching the video? Well I guess that's enough proof for me then......or maybe not.

    October 14, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. bob

    Since the Republicans always push for bigger defense budges and more spending on weapons systems, most of which goes to the defense contractors that funded their campaigns, the wounded and retired veterans always blame the Democrats when their benefits get cut, but it you look at the legislation passed over the last few decades the real reason is the same one that underlies all of our society's ills, the Republican refusal to tax the rich and the big corporations that put them in office.

    October 14, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Fish

    Tea Partiers the few the proud the demented and delusional may they soon be a part of our not so pleasant past!!! The only thing they've accomplished is to ruin their own party harm our national security collapse our economy kill our soldiers, all in the name of Wall Street!!! Congratulations morons, the Koch boys have paid you well to sell out our country!!!

    October 14, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Joe

    So veteran services are shuttered, and they're protesting exactly what Democratic President Bill Clinton AND Republican President George HW Bush did their shutdowns, as required by law????

    October 14, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Hogan's Goat

    What a stupid fellow. How can anyone take these clowns seriously?

    October 14, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. jimi.

    Look on the bright side, folks: The last time Congress pulled these stunts they were voted out of office. Perhaps this time, the American people have learned their lesson.

    October 14, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. ruth

    If Mr. Obama is a leader then Biden is a fairy princess...this is a man that worries about being in the contraception business,abortion business,the car business, the free food business,free housing business and now the insurance business,and you people are mad at the tea party people. This man whips an audience of his choosing into a frenzy over nonsense yet treats the military like crap,maybe he should have enlisted into the military in order to lead our country.He spends money and loses at evey venture he has put our money into that went bankrupt,but hey ,you people who voted for him will start crying when they run out of money and the next "Great Depression" comes....you can not continue to print money as he has ..China will startcalling in their markers then they will come after each and everyone of us....good luck .....because OBAMA IS LAUGHING AT EACH AND EVERYONE OF US

    October 14, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Badua

    Look not all Koran readers are terrorists. Like our Bible readers, some of them are Devils than Satan. These tea party Christians are hypocrites especially those from the south. They just hate Obama because he is black. They want to starve kids, they love their party more thanthe welfare of regular Americans except the rich folks who sponsor them. And on top of all, they act like Talibans and want to control women. What kind of a christian person would say all these about Obama. And even if he is a Muslim so what. America belongs to all of us. This Tea party people are not American Indians. I want the Indians to claim America and not these destructive tea parties. Even people who still think slavery is Ok reads the Bible.

    October 14, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. mike smith

    These GOD fearing red bloodied Americans are taking a stand against Obama and his communist regime. The only real problem is that these same idiots are more Communist than President Obama. They say they are fighting freedom but they want to deny others their freedom, the bible calls them HYPOCRITES. You find a lot of them in the religious sect. Blinded by the light, their empire is about to tumble and they are desperate.

    October 14, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Just a minute

    Ad you guys thought the GOP clown car was put up for sale after the silliness of the GOP primaries! They better have good insurance on it for all the extra use it's getting!

    October 14, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Mike

    You want to see what stupidity looks like?.Play the above video.

    October 14, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. jsmoulder

    Jason scott
    The Democrats are center left.

    So very far from the truth that statement is.

    October 14, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. keven

    This is new low, even for the tea party and Sarah Blame'n. Even the KKK has more class

    October 14, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Daveincincy

    If this were an OWS rally there would have already been 4 stabbings, 7 rapes, and millions in property damage. How you like them apples....

    October 14, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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