October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
12 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. Mr. Roberts

    Domestic terrorist

    October 14, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. DarkAges

    We really are going backwards in time. Won't be long before we bring back witch trials. Nice job leaders. Instead of protesting monument closings how about go help someone in need.

    October 14, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Tom

    Unbelievable hypocrites, Cruz and his cronies force a government shutdown then protest the shutdown. Palin is simply ignorant and just grabs at any chance for media attention but the extreme right wing conservatives ( Tea Party ) are the true villains and are destroying this country. Hopefully they will pay by losing their jobs in the next election so we can get back to intelligent leadership in the house and senate.

    October 14, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. brenda

    Are the Tea Party Republicans engaging in sedition?

    October 14, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. GSW

    Dey tuk argh jawbs!

    No go do what the rednecks in Southpark did...I'm sure that will make it all better.

    October 14, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Verum Educat

    America – Engage the thoughtful.. Dont blindly follow the passionate Town Criers and fools.

    We need centrist, thoughtful leaders to make progress one step at a time.

    October 14, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Shaka Zulu

    "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 Ku Klux Klansman

    October 14, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Bilal

    This country is full of cooks! Seriously, still debating obama's religion and where he came from. Some of these rednecks ought to first educate themselves, learn about the world, and pray to god to have mercy on their souls when judgement day comes. The hate and anger they spew is so mind-boggling.. it's beyond ridiculous.

    October 14, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Andrew

    President Obama is a church-going Christian. Whoever spun up this big pile of manure about him being a Muslim, is either a lying alcoholic, a lying drug addict, or a political liar – all three are the absolute same thing. Some tea party folks have all three afflictions in one, which means, they have a sever case of DAS (Dumb AZZ Syndrome), a condition typically related to those having IQ's less than room temperature.

    October 14, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. daveinla

    I think he should pit down the Communist Manifesto. The man is not Muslim...but he is a Marxist.

    October 14, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Seattle Sue

    Larry Klayman should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    October 14, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Hogan's Goat

    Really makes them look stupid, as if torpedoing the government right now hadn't already done that.

    October 14, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. CdnKaren

    too bad stupid isn't against the law. oh America, you have more than your share of whackos for sure.

    October 14, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Texas

    There is tis the NEW TEA PARTY FLAG, The Confederate flag reborn

    October 14, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Mike hunt

    Way to go cnn. Making a story out of the comments of one "railer" out of a thousand.

    October 14, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Adrien

    The Bible is just as much of a horrible and bogus book as the Quran. Who cares which one he claims to read (even though we know all politicians everywhere are not anything remotely close to religious, THANK NONGOD).

    October 14, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. rosie

    Why are right wingers so... what's the word.... ignorant?

    October 14, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Name A Larue

    Idiots... Klayman, Cruz and Palin do not represent what is todays America so they are trying to turn the clock back to the 1950's

    October 14, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. radar8

    @TexasnoTea – You are completely correct. The current tea party is an extension of the KKK. They hide their hatred for the black president by calling him everything except a black epithet (except in private, I'm sure). The Tearrorists fear Obama. If Obama succeeds, they're life of bigotry and hatred is a lie. They need Obama to fail in order to validate their existence.

    October 14, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. monte brogdon

    Discrimination for his religion, if its even true. Stupid.

    October 14, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. hjfromtx

    I didn't hear anything even remotely close as to the socialist libtards who destroyed Romney, Palin, Ryan.....etc.... All this guy did was tell the truth! All you libtards posting that the repubs and tea party were the cause of this? Your even dumber than I thought! You could even take Jim Carry's place in the up and coming remake.

    October 14, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Sandra V

    The headline alone is a very clear indication of the bigoted mentality of these people. They've been completely misinformed and almost completely brainwashed. They used to be funny to watch but now I shudder to think that if they thought they could get away with it, they would try to lyn- I can't even bring myself to say it, but I'm certain I don't have to put it any more plainly. These people are breeding bigotry among the uninformed masses and they and Congress are treading closely to sedition.

    October 14, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Mary

    SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE !!! This just shows pure ignorance and stupidity. Go blame Tea Party and the Republican conservatives they should be all kicked out, strip them out of their wages and their paid by the government health insurance.
    What they say is no good for the regular guy shouldn't be good for them either.

    October 14, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. JJ

    There are möröns everywhere. Oh, well.

    October 14, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    They're going to try to say Larry Klayman is just a nut, a fringe who doesn't really represent the Tea Party and is only being reported on so as to try and embarrass the movement for fiscal reform. But there's a large percentage of people in this country that think the President really is a secret Muslim and/or not an legitimately elected President. They've been saying that for years, and Larry Klayman represents their views.

    October 14, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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