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. Harry B Shaw

    Nothing new from the Tea Party Terrorists. All along the teapartiers were saying lets shut the government down. If we dont get what we want we will close the government. They were cheered on by their base. Guess what, They got just what they said they wanted. THEY shut government down. Now they are trying to to blame everyone but themselves. They openly say they want the government to default. Then try to say its everyone but them. They are idiots and they are nothing more than terrorists. They are a much bigger threat to our country than most foreign powers

    October 13, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. clr

    go to fb – 2 million bikers site – you can see the actual photos of what is really going on. liberal media blocking news

    October 13, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. lewtwo

    "One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim"
    I notice that they failed to identify the speaker by name.

    October 13, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Trevor Bryant of Flagstaff, AZ

    Cite all the people who step past the barriers with federal trespassing. You can't enter a government building after hours without that happening, why can you do it with a national park? You are a citizen, and entitled to enter either, but if it is closed, it is closed. No one is welcome. You are trespassing, just as much as illegal immigrants are trespassing. Trespassing is a crime. Go directly to jail, or in the case of illegals, go directly back to the middle of the ocean, drop them in. If they swim back, they are welcome to try and cross again.

    October 13, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Ace

    Gee the tea party keeps adding NUT JOBS to there ranks...

    way to go...

    vote out the tea party next election...

    October 13, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. ron

    Imo "the Tea Party can go straight to hell" as Maxine Waters once said.

    October 13, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Morgan

    The President isn't Muslim. Why do people insist on believing this? And even if he were, by gods, what does it matter?

    October 13, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. TedCruzsGoodTwin

    "Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group." LOL
    Should be Larry Klansman.

    October 13, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Pete/Ark

    when all else fails , shout insults and slurs while making empty threats ...

    October 13, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Jim

    Sickening. These are like the Taliban or neo nazi's of the West. I'm sure the tea party republicans are proud. Disgusting teabrained filth.

    October 13, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Brandy

    I'm so embarrassed by these people. They spread ignorance and lies like a disease. The following comment sums up this so-called Republican outrage at the World War II Memorial, especially considering Republicans alone are the very reason it is shut down.

    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.

    October 13, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Zerubbabel

    Ignorance must bliss with these folks. May God bless them.

    October 13, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. LittleAztec

    All these right wingers need to go home–but guess the Koch brothers have told them not too. Ever notice that the less popular the repubs are–the more vitrolic their attacks are? POOR LOSERS and BULLIES/False glory hounds

    October 13, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Sanity

    Seriously, the American people are going insane. People speak just for the sake of speaking. We are at a turning point in this country, and world, and there are many who simply cannot adjust to the change this turning point is bringing. But to go as far and rally people by a hateful ideology is just not the way. A Sad America, this has become.

    October 13, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Evil_Genius

    ROFL! Good news! Under the now famous Obamacare Law, these baggers won't be denied medical attention for their pre-existing mental illness condition.

    Kudos!

    -Operation Desert Storm Vet

    October 13, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. not a liberal

    And to STOP putting illegals, drug addicts, Islamic fundamentalists and other assorted losers above the tax paying public.

    October 13, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Very Disappointed

    This is amazing! Fanatics saying that this is the President's fault and no one else's? Cruz saying that the Obama administration closed down memorials as a political ploy? Him saying that is the political ploy. I don't personally like our current President, but I'm not blind to the fact that people like Cruz are to blame for this whole mess.

    October 13, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. DaveC

    Sometimes nothing needs to be said about the article. The stupidity of the statements quoted in the article speak for themselves.

    October 13, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. Frank

    Truly demented people.

    One more year America, hang tough.
    First we vote them out of the House majority.
    Then we stay engaged and make sure they never again attain control of any branch of government.

    Don't bother trying to engage or cure them of this illness – just limit the damage they can do, while their numbers shrink year after year and they ultimately die off.

    October 13, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Dermata

    The crazies come out in force with their crazy right wing leaders.

    October 13, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Tigas

    Hypocracy rules! Liberals have been calling opponents "terrorists" for months. When it gets turned on them, they cry like babies.

    October 13, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. david saint

    LMAO boy they sure do find some classy people to speak at these events dont they? Klayman, the same guy who pleaded the 5th in court when asked if he abused HIS OWN KIDS! At a hearing he requested no less!! lol only sick and disturbed people would even listen to that guy

    October 13, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Mark

    wow, this is an embarrassment to all Republicans. I am leaving this party and will join the Independents (period).

    October 13, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Davelli0331

    I am a former Marine and combat veteran of OIF. I am sick and tired of people like Cruz and Palin using military veterans to further their cause. I did not join the Corps to provide fodder for some politician, and certainly none of them were there when I was loading my friends unto casevac helos.

    I'm disgusted with these scum who constantly spout empty pro-military phrases because they know it will appeal to their base. I'm tired of the word "patriot" being a loaded term that signifies some sort of solidarity among these Tea Party loons, and I loathe their implication that if you don't agree with them, then you must not be patriotic.

    I'm sick of it. Cruz, Palin, and the rest of you Tea Party nutjobs, you do not represent me, nor do you even represent the majority of Americans, judging by the polls.

    And to my military brothers and sisters in arms, please, turn off Fox News, turn off Rush, turn off Glen, and start doing some much-needed critical thinking.

    October 13, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. John

    The speaker, an obvious supporter of the Republican tea party, is making frivolous allegations regarding Obama's creed and conduct. In addition, every listener should understand that the Republican party made a conscious choice to put the United States in a gov't shutdown because tea party Republicans such as Senator Cruz do not approve of Obamacare. A government shutdown resulted in WWII veterans not being able to visit the country's memorial. A staged event led to Republican's to jump on the opportunity to open the gates for the veterans to enter, thereby taking the credit and blaming Obama for the closure of the memorial when in reality the closure was the result of the Republicans effort to shut down the government.

    Furthermore, these radical tea party conservatives need to stop the fight between the Republican party and the President. They need to focus not on the President, but on the Democratic party. Bipartisanship between the parties will lead to stronger negotiations with Obama. Congress is the problem, not Obama.

    Lastly, Senator Ted Cruz should be the one to "get out of town" as this speaker has suggested Obama do. Cruz is a CANADIAN. Get this guy out of office and back to CANADA. Not disrespect to Canada.

    October 13, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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