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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

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. RN

    The demise of the Republican party !! rejoice! kick them out!!!!!

    October 13, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. RC

    Is the pot calling the kettle black here? He who first smelt it.... you know the rest.

    October 13, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    People are angry because of the rhetoric against Obama. Were these same people angry about the rhetoric against George W. Bush? Doubtful. Tables have turned and now they are shocked, I tell you, shocked! This is all so pathetically amusing. The people posting comments here should take an honest look at their own behavior before condemning anyone else's.

    October 13, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Vader

    ""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."

    And this is why the Ridiculous Right is doomed to failure.

    October 13, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. eleanor

    We have faced down Communism, Naziism, anarchism, fanaticism, and now the Tea Party is introducing us to neocretenism. They are good at one thing – the cheap shot. I doubt Paul Revere would have taken his ride on the 18th of April of 1775 to warn the rebels that "The British are Coming" if he knew what the Tea Party would be doing to the country in 2013.

    October 13, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. coffee over tea

    Cruz, Bachmann, and the rest of the right wing extremists, need to pack up and move to Alcatraz, where the can disappear from the public eye, play their own little game of self destruction,and leave America alone to start functioning again

    October 13, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. John The Electrician

    These people are nothing more than rebels. Of what good are they to anyone?

    October 13, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. RN

    Republicans are the downfall , why cant we see that, the deflated white majority ... sorry minority, can't handle it ! too bad , the Koch Brothers and other cronies are BAAAD for America!!

    October 13, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. spraynandprayn

    Hey you loyalists to the crown, you will not rule forever, remember that

    October 13, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. USAPeasant

    I'd rather see Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell step down from their leadership positions than I would see Obama step down. The Four Horsemen of the Congress have done the most damage to the country, even moreso than Obama. They can keep their Senate and House seats, but they need to resign their leadership status and let the cooler heads in both party's lead for a change. The Four Horsemen have been in power way too long anyways. Obama deserves a chance to rule, but Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell have misruled the nation for decades. We can wait out Obama, and I personally think Obama only acts up because Reid has him under his thumb. Take Reid's power away and take Boehner's power away, and I would expect Obama to be able to negotiate better because let's face it Boehner and Reid are extremists that won't pass anything either which way to save the country. Just the fact that Boehner and Reid shutdown the government should be enough evidence for both parties to hold a leadership coup against them.

    October 13, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. hubert39

    These are not WWII veterans or any kind of veterans. They are thugs hired by the Tea Party. Veterans respect the USA our FLAG, and our nation. Most veterans are not millionaires like the GOP congress. They want what's best for all Americans. Not just the rich white Tea Party people.
    70% of Americans disagree with the GOP congress.
    If something is not done by mid week that figure could reach 80% plus.

    October 13, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. megands

    Wow...these crazies will go to this extreme to try for their lying party. What is this world coming to? How will this brainwashing ever stop??

    October 13, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Me

    Big deal a couple of memorials are closed
    What happens if somebody visits it gets mugged falls dies or what ever then everybody will complain how could happen
    Closed means closed common sence says
    No life guard on duty ....I'm just sayin

    October 13, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. Suhweet

    Let's assume for the sake of argument, that Obama is Muslim. What does that have to do with anything. Freedom of religion seems to be one of our rights. What's up wit dat you freedom fighting morons. Get a life, a job, a friend or something that will keep you busy at something worthwhile.

    October 13, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. rs

    The Republicans WANT respect, the Republicans DEMAND respect- when in reality this is really who they are and how they act. Punks, they are just punks.

    October 13, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. Tom

    @ The Taxman

    "God Bless all those who have served our country in the military and guard."

    Does that include the muslims who are members of the U.S. military, or just the christians?

    October 13, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. Brian

    The tea parties right wake up

    October 13, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. Penny

    It really concerns me as a veteran, that these people are being labeled as "conservatives" as if that should negate the fact that they willingly fought to protect our country. You should all see the video from in front of the White House.. It shows police and our veterans who are participating in the Million Veteran's March. The police are responding as if these men and women are vigilantes. They are showing only their disappointment in the way our country is being disrespected. They have every right to be there and make their voices heard.

    October 13, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. George

    The guy speaking looks like Jerry Springer, but I know Jerry Springer is a democrat.

    October 13, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. BCar

    Guess that this idiot isn't aware of our founding father Thomas Jefferson's Quran.

    October 13, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    What a joke. Cruz showing up at this rally supporting supporting reopening the monument days after he talked for 20 hours closing the Government down. And the fact that these protestors accepted his presence and his words show that they are not to bright and they are not too honest. Again, what a joke.

    October 13, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. RichardLB

    Holy crap, these people scare me.

    October 13, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Mike

    Good! Someone finally came out and said what needed to be said. Put it down Obama!

    October 13, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  24. Betty

    No matter your party affiliation – an absolute truth is those memorials DID NOT need to be barricaded at all, and the White House did so for political bullying. The White House knows very well the Democrat party owns the typical news outlets like NBC, CNN, etc. and they know the media will falsely portray the Republicans at fault.

    This was the White House bullying their opponents – pure and simple. Makes Obama the Great Divider.

    October 13, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Bentwrench

    Sorry Jerry, take a course in history, it was the democrats that were racist and KKK, until they saw an opportunity to take advantage of the black vote, they do not care about rights, it is only about control, anyway it is difficult to argue with the uniformed blindly following leftist rhetoric and revisionist history of the left.

    October 13, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103