October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. MIckeyOregon

    Typical cable news network. Anyone who doesnot worship The One is a crazy. There are no articles here about the bizarre antics of his stormtroopers in barricading open air memorials, or holding tourists under house arrest at Yellowstone and surround Old Faithful with SUVs so no one can accidentally see the geyser bolw. Or how they block views of Mt. Rushmore along the highway – a little beyond closing the park. What a silly silly vindictive man. Lazy and petty.

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. j

    Liberals...you cant fix stupid.

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. gayle

    The Tea Party are turning out to be such wonderful Christians? I wonder what Jesus thinks about these "Christians".

    Insanity at its best. Who are voting for these insane people?

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. astonished

    I think I have just lost IQ points by having read the GOP and tea party comments.

    ofcourse everything government funded was shut down when the government shut down. No big surprise there. The tea party wanting to fund that part of the government was a political ploy. Would people die if they didn't go to a memorial site for a short time while this gets worked out? On the flip side, they have absolutely no problem not funding federal hospitals where extremely sick people need help.

    lets all remember this is all happening because the republicans are holding us hostage because they do not like something that was passed into law by both chambers of congress and later upheld by the supreme court. After that, the president who proposed the healthcare bill was re-elected with a $5 million vote margin.

    I think we can all agree that everyone should have access to healthcare. If they don't like this one, then propose changes to make it better. Creating a crisis is not the way to do this.

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. nate in ca

    These nincompoops are basket cases

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. btsidi

    I would congratulate the person writing this article to find those acts and statement that are as outlandish as those that have been made by the opposition and ignore the fact that across the country veterans and supporters gathered at veteran memorials to express displeasure at being used as political pawns by BOTH parties, and most recently by the administration in the closing of the WWII memorial (especially to those WWII vets making what is most likely their last trip to view something in their honor). But then we have men (and women) without honor serving? as out elected representatives (again I am equally disgusted without designation as to political affiliation). There are republicans and democrats that have honorably served, unfortunately they are a minority and we should hope that we will not lose those people and discover that we have just "paid" mercenaries in our military that would be willing to turn against the populace. Support the veterans on all sides.

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Mike, Albany

    Who is the true American in this scenario? It is clear that it is NOT the speaker in thie video. The America I live in has the freedom of religion built into its Constitution. Therefore, it simply does not matter if Obama is a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu,.... as an American citizen, he has every right to run for public office. The bigotry, intolerance, and just plain ignorance shown in this video is truly staggering. I'm very sorry that people like this are counted among our citizenry.

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Oliver Cowdery

    Indoctrinated as children to hate, that's what I see here. The more secular we become, the better off we'll all be.

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. bill

    How dare this communist neo-radical extremist republican speak of the President of the United States that way! The GOP are willing to sink to even greater depths in order to turn our country into a terroristic State. It really is time to vote all of the GOP hate mongers like Ted Cruz et al out of Congress and to re-instill the principles of our Founding Fathers that has made America so great! The past 13 years have shown us what the GOP are all about and I say that is enough!! The recent dictatorships of Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Egypt, and Libya should all serve as examples as to the values and political philosophies of the GOP.

    October 13, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Chris

    Today, patriotic Americans struck back against the Marxist traitor in The White House!!! God Bless the Tea Party and all TRUE, Constitutional Americans as we take the monuments and memorials that our veterans paid for with their blood back from the Muslim-sympathizer-in-Chief and traitor who is bankrupting our economy, assisting our enemies and betraying our friends....IMPEACH THE SOB, remove him from office and then INDICT him and send him to prison....Now go back to drinking your Kool-Aid, all you sick Obama zombies...!

    October 13, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. ScDad

    How could veterans be s stupid? The GOP closed those memorials not the President. Veterans should know something about the government that they "defended." And what's this garbage about the POTUS being Muslim. Come on vets! Don't let people brainwash you and drag you around by the nose. Getting humiliated in Vietnam was bad enough. Invading Iraq for no reason was bad enough.

    October 13, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |

    It is very funny reading all you anti republican/ Tea party rants. Like any of you spine less F's do anything besides collect a welfare check. We are not racist, and actually you all are the racist intolerable people willing to flush this country down the toilet. We do not like Obama and we do not have too. I'd love to see you liberal/progressives stand toe to toe with a real patriot.

    October 13, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. MarcNJ

    and if any of these teabaggers get hurt, you know they'll sue. Barricades are there because security have been put on furlough. And there are far too many losers that would destroy "the people's memorials."

    October 13, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Hortus rarus

    Larry Klayman obviously does not know a) what he is talking about in relation to Obama's Religious leanings; and b) has FORGOTTEN that there is FREEDOM of Religion and FROM Religion in the U.S.A.!
    Moreover, he like too many others, has forgotten there is NO "Religious Test" to hold ANY office in this Country!

    October 13, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Idaho

    There is no hate and vile behavior like that of democrats throwing down in a comments section of a CNN Tea Party hatchet piece.

    October 13, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. adam six

    I am a vet and I fine it disgraceful that some one like cruze would try to use vets like this. But the people that follow him are blind to the fact and above all just racists. It a sad day in history that after all this country has but through this is still how people think.I am white and have surved the the best of Americans black Brown and all. So do you care about them they are vets to or do you just care about the old wwii vets on tv. If that how you are going to be just say it and show your true colors not red white and blue just white. Like I said its a sad day in history

    October 13, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. moxjox

    WOW – –
    so much for the possibility of intelligent dialogue...

    October 13, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Tom

    It cost almost nothing to keep these memorials open. They've never been shutdown before during govt shutdowns. This is Obama's way to lean on the little man. Obamas golf course remained open, that is extremely essential.

    October 13, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. These are the people who want to run the government.

    But first they have to destroy it.

    October 13, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Sam

    I am just wondering if the USA has two constitution. The freedom of religion is not a first amendment? Why a Muslim American citizen cannot be a president of this democratic country ?

    October 13, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Phil B.

    Looks like a few of these fanatics have made it into the comments section. "Obama is a commie, terrorist-loving muslim, blah-blah-blah". Like eight year olds, they're good at calling names, but good luck trying to get any actual proof to back up their insane claims.

    October 13, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Listen to you people, you are calling our veterans, the people who have served this country names, talk about classless. As for shutting down the memorials, sorry boys and girls but that is all on Obama. My husband volunteers at Madigan Army Hospital and the order to "make things as hard on people as possible" came straight from the top (WH). The WH tried to shut down privately funded memorials like Mt. Vernon and while Yellowstone may be federal the road to it is owned by the state and the WH briefly shut that down until the governor ordered the barricades removed.. Just wondering if the left EVER holds Obama responsible for anything. Try using the same yard stick that you used on Bush on Obama. If the memorials and parks had been shut down during Bush's terms all of you would have laid the blame squarely at his feet. So stop with the righteous indignation.


    Righteous Indignation ?
    Bush wouldn't allow photos of wounded soldiers , he banned images that showed flag draped coffins .

    For you stating that your husband volunteers at Madigan Army Hospital and the order to "make things as hard on people as possible" came straight from the top (WH).

    If that is true , and it is not . Why isn't your husband giving a deposition to the justice department , " Volunteer worker knows orders came right from Commander and Chief .

    Why do all the right wing military people love men like "Dick" Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld , Politicians that talk bravado , but in reality look at soldiers as cannon fodder .

    October 13, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Eric Johnson

    Why is CNN giving these hate-mongers a forum? They should be ashamed of themselves. I don't watch CNN anymore, and am looking for an alternative online. CNN is just going to be competing with FOX soon.

    October 13, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. amanda

    Misinformed, that is what is happening here. The president does not have the power to shut the non essential government , only the house of representatives does, even the Senate does not have the power to shut the government down. Secondly, the Tea Party are the ones responsible for leading the fight within the GOP controlled house to refuse to bring the bill to the house floor for a vote, in turn, shutting down the government. But the main reason there are barricades around our national monuments...is so they do not get destroyed. With the government not paying the federal employees , there is no one to watch the crowd and make sure the monument is not desecrated. It was just about two months ago, a Chinese citizen desecrated more than one national monument by splashing paint and feces on them. Do the veterans want someone to put sh*t all over their memorial? I don't think so. So until the house VOTES, they the monument will need to be protected by the barricade. If someone comes tonite and destroys it, whos fault will it be, the veterans? the tea party? Sarah Palin? Boehner? Everyone who agrees with the tea party should look this stuff up on internet. Come on

    October 13, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Sam

    Democrats and Liberals, you cannot keep the Conservatives down. Remember Lincoln's words. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. The truth will come out about Obama and his cronies, and they will pay for the damage they have done to this country.

    October 13, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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