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. lbdukeep

    To the "Rallier" telling Obama to put down the Quran....he's a Christian – and the Rallier is UNEDUCATED. Its not Obama bringing on the Shutdown....look back at Cruz in the crowd there, he's part and parcel responsible for the shut down. THE GOP – House of Representatives all responsible and even more for underhanded sneaky legal moves to make sure no one but the Republicans can open up the Government. STUPID REPUBLICANS! Listen to their lies, and you'll believe anything as long as it is against that black man in the White House. ALL REPUBLICANS – SHEEEEEP – BAAAAAA BAAAAAAAAA

    October 14, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Michael

    No one in goverment speaks For God nor do they repesent him , let me make that clear for all to understand.
    The lords Michael

    October 14, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Wake Up America!

    Many people have no clue as to how our Government functions. The Office of President is not a puppet for Congress to manipulate. Obama is not a dictator however what he does have authority to do is to say yes or no. This is definitely a case of some people not getting their way. This kind of ignorance alone will cause our demise. Hatred such as this will turn God away from us. It is better to be a non believer that to carry out evil acts in the name of God. For God is love and we are commanded to do the same.

    October 14, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Jeff6187

    Leave it to the T-Party. Sure they SAY they support Veterans because it makes good press. Then they turn around and USE the veterans as a collective group to further their own political agenda. So as one who has always supported every aspect of government respect and support of our ultra courageous, patriotic, and dedicated service men and women, and veterans ... let me ask this of the participants of the Million Vet March: What would happen if all the time and energy put forth by Palin, Cruz, and other self serving politicians was suddenly devoted to furthering the long neglected veterans issues? Currently our incarcerated enjoy better health care than our veterans. But Palin and Cruz seem to have boundless time to organize and support stopping our government to get back on the front page.

    October 14, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. ComeOnMan

    Oh the fear. The fear. The constant dread. The dread that fear brings. It nags you daily. The fear. The fear of the OTHER! How sad, for your self imposed prison.

    October 14, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. aaron

    Over and over again, the Bush administration had mass protesters rounded up, held until whatever event they were protesting was over. Might be time for Dems to return the favor on these idiots.

    October 14, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Richard

    Tea Partiers, go away or be damned, I don't care. The tea party has divided this country, and even divided the once great republican party. With your hatred and your divisive behavior, you make me embarassed to be a republican. Sara Palin, you are a political failure, stop pretending you have any importance whatever to this country's future. Ultimately this movement will fail, because it divides, rather than unites this once great country.

    October 14, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Harman

    and that's why I no longer vote republican

    October 14, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. TheSadTruth

    Larry Klayman typifies what I've seen of Tea Partiers- they are just angry people who need to focus on one thing as the source of ALL the world's problems, and they need someone to direct their anger. They build their entire thought process around finding something/someone to hate. They are the fools of our society.

    October 14, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Nancy

    You know what would really be disastrous? If these people had to do without a warm place to live or didn’t have enough food to eat. These people should kiss the ground that all they have to complain about is the closure of a memorial and don't have to worry about going to sleep hungry or cold.

    October 14, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. stower

    IPut down your Quran was obviously a euphamism for Obamas obvious
    llove and blind eye for the Muslim extremists and Muslim Community.
    He was trying to say put down your quran and stop your love affair
    with the Muslim extremists and Muslim Religion that refuses to police
    its own crazies and turns the other way and hardly ever condemns
    its whackos. The Muslims who the bad guys are and they sit next to them
    every week in the Mosques and say nothing...

    October 14, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. darcy bernier

    Can you say ignorant?

    October 14, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. mindstorms

    These ideological fanatics seem to want little or no government, guns and God. I know the perfect place for them....Somalia.

    October 14, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. KC

    paaaahahahaha this is some of the STUPIDEST stuff everrrrr.....you'd think after winning two landslide elections people would just get.over.it.

    October 14, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. BB

    I am amazed by the hypocrisy. I am all for budget cuts. How many of these Tea party will support cutting the large number of redundant bases in the US? The largest employer in South Dakota is the US army who run a base there. After the cold war ended no cuts to bases was done. Instead over $65 billion new commitment for NSA which has a budget larger than FBI and CIA combined. Yet they failed to detect the Boston Bombing. Most of the Tea party people feign as fiscal conservatives. But in reality they are hard core Christian Evangelicals who believe Obama is a Muslim. They are against women's rights and were against removal of slavery. Is it any wonder that the riches states in the US are blue states and the poorest states with less educated people are all red states?

    October 14, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. James P. Barber

    Put down your sheets, then we can talk about it. Don't be angry at Obama because god short changed you on brains and ,morals. The Taliban supports your efforts and wants you to keep it up. They've even offered to assist you with your suicide techniques. They did want to warn you that when you die you'll be greeted Bachmasns not virgins.

    October 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. A Vet

    I'm a Vet. These people do not speak for me. Funny, I don't remember getting an invite to any million Vet march.

    October 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Yeeha!

    ...only if the Tea Party stops waving their swastikas in our faces.

    October 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Pirate Kate

    The "conservative" crowd needs to go drown in a giant teapot.

    October 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. bob

    Yes, yes, the author hates the tea party... yawn.

    October 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. J

    Stand firm and proud Obama. Don't a few crazy people hold the government hostage and then get a reward. No negotiations.

    October 14, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. FactCheck

    Poster child for more money needed for mental health care in this country.

    October 14, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. bob

    Yes, yes, the author dislikes the tea party... yawn.

    October 14, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. rgxx

    CNN – some of these accounts you are reporting are inaccurate news comments – please report what actually happened without your agenda swinging comments to lead others into false truths.

    In other words stop putting your spin on it – just report the news – don't be a part OF it. Thank-you

    October 14, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. rednecks

    Talk about your high quality red necks. You folks are just embarrasing

    October 14, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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