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. Name

    Recall obama like the voters in Colorado recalled their out of touch left wing commie nut jobs

    October 13, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  2. JomoDaMusicMan

    These racist fools are screaming about opening national parks when millions of people in America may not receive their Social Security & V.A. Checks which means rent may not be paid and people will be hungry. As usual, these Tea Baggin Republitarts has their priorities mixed up. They would much rather watch monuments and statues than getting all the govern back running

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

    wow people.. you think Obama specifically ordered a memorial closed? are you that daft?
    "Yes, President Obama, here is that list of 2,957 parks and memorials you asked for so you can mark down which ones will be closed". If you believe that then you seem to believe the executive branch consists of 2 people.. the POTUS and his part time Press Secretary.
    The irony is there are actually real people with real jobs that you SHOULD be placing your blame upon (when valid) such as the Secretary for the Dept of Interior, but you give them all a pass because of hatred for one man. good plan :/ people would blame Obama for a parking ticket at this point.

    October 13, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  4. Mike

    So I see the liberal lemmings are out in force tonight. The vast majority of the crowds gathering around veterans memorials all across America today were vets, parents of active service members or people who have lost loved ones in service. All these people calling this a Tea Party rally really are missing several screws and just shows how much disdain liberals have for our vets.

    October 13, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  5. Set

    yea while most Islamic countries are anti-abortion, support the death penalty, more often believe that women should have less rights than men, consider gay marriage as evil, and oppose the separation of church and state. I feel like if he really wanted to stick to Islamic values he would be a republican.

    October 13, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. Wes

    CNN missed that last week the memorial park was open by Obama for an Amnesty rally but was closed for Veterans this week. Also, the police were not described as being in riot gear and the armored vehicles, reminding one of the Egyptian protests that took place. Protests (sit ins, gatherings) at our nation's capital are a normal occurrence and a freedom, we enjoy.

    October 13, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. ohioan

    Knuckleheads in the news! Personally, I hope they keep it up because the Dems will win in '14 and in '16. And to all you moderate Republicans, there is room for you in our party so come on over!

    October 13, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Instead of focusing on the problems that face this country CNN attempts to paint all conservatives and Republicans as mindless bigoted idiots. When Bush 43 was in office I don't remember ever seeing CNN trying to paint Liberals as monsters, even when they held protests with signs depicting Bush as a monkey or Hitler. Hmmmm, makes me wonder what going on here....When people realize its the fringe that gets all the news coverage and not the true patriots trying make this country great again, then things will finally start moving again.

    October 13, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. RSFan

    You can't fix stupid.

    October 13, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  10. Max v

    To all of you who are blaming the president for the closure of national parks and memorials, you are utterly mistaken. The federal government funds the national parks service, which controls the parks and memorials. The republicans led by Ted Cruz rallied and held a 21 hour filibuster to shut the government down over a law he didn't like. This is all on Ted Cruz and the idiots in the tea party. I work for the us army and what the lady above said about the hospitals is false, just another tea bagger ploy to blame Obama. The tea party shuts down the government then holds a rally against a shutdown, yeah that makes sense! Ted Cruz should be arrested and charged with sedition!

    October 13, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Tony

    Tea party is full of idiots. Palin, Cruz, and Paul are uninformed and unprepared for playing any significant role in the politics. People should trash them and take away their five minutes of grandstanding opportunities at such silly events. Since their formation, the Tea party has done nothing but shameful acts. Kick them all out of the office.

    October 13, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. randall

    the police don't work for mobs. they work to enforce the law of the particular place. mobs can't make the law up as they go. all i see in this article is a bunch of racist thugs who didn't get as much support for their cause as they'd hope. no one is exempt from the rules even if they served in the military. to suggest otherwise creates a legal cast system and that's against the constitution. they have to abide the same as the rest of us.

    October 13, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  13. Margaret

    If Obama is a Muslim he is a terrible one and violates most of their rules. Idiots. Isn't it amazing no one ever questioned Carter, Reagan, Clinton, or the Bushes Christianity? They would not recognize a Muslim if they wandered into a Mosque by accident. Given most of the still think of Sikhs as Muslims.

    October 13, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  14. TomT

    Ignorance is bliss...
    Also it's embarrassing to the rest of us Americans that you are so stupid...

    October 13, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. bam

    foxfax racists

    what does religion have to do with anything? this is a FREE COUNTRY.
    all religions are faerie tales

    October 13, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. SoonVerySoon

    This is probably the most pointless post you will read but I feel like I have "say" it. Look at the bright side: America does not have to worry about another 9/11 anytime soon (or even so-called 'soft-target' attacks–it would be the most foolish thing a terrosist could do!) Why? America is destroying and self-destructing from within. Anyone else remember the days/weeks/months after 9/11? I do. The majority of Americans came together and focused on a common enemy–Bin Laden and those who support his idea of how everyone should live. Now, we spew incredible hatred for those who dare to disagree. "You're entitled to your opinion as long as I agree with it" seems to be the order of the day. Please–let's cooperate and arrive at a reasonable conclusion to this mess. Yes, I know, easier said than done. But, when the dust settles we're all together in this and the only way we can overcome it is through cooperation.

    October 13, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. michael collins

    I am tired of these type of comments form self righteous right wing fanatics. maybe we should stop giving them news coverage. the shut down has nothing to do with the Presidents beliefs but everything to do with a power grab by the right wing. The fact that this fanatic used Vets as his sprinboard is disgusting.

    October 13, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. Karen

    I don't see anything wrong with standing up for our rights as AMERICANS. Any one that has a problem with that needs their heads examined, or maybe you would like our country to go socialistic (share your money and don't complain about food stamps or welfare then)or communistic?

    October 13, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. nintex

    I want to lock every Tea Party person in a big room and cut them off from Fox News for about a week. What would they do without Rush/Sarah/Ted telling them how everything bad is President Obama's fault? Would their heads explode when faced with some truth for a change? Would they realize how they've been lied to and used? You can only hope that they would come to their senses and start thinking for themselves for a change.

    October 13, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Jesse Franklin

    Emotional Intelligence (Emotional Q,) IQ, along with academics, critical thinking, along with the avoidance of being one who is in the throws of Intellectual Stupidity, are required for one to view the problems associated with America's Budget and Debt of $17.8 Trillion Ceiling limit and beyond.

    In order to do this one must sanitize, deduct these from the budget and debt ceiling process, by removing President Obama, the Tea Party, Republicans, Democrats form their problem solving procedures. Once these are deleted from the process, a practical solution can be presented that will satisfy all sides.

    Such actions and speech as indicated within this article, if true, are complex hindrances to America's Budget and Debt Ceiling resolution as one joint process.

    October 13, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  21. marta

    What this story omits is, in the protest in front of the White House, they were also carrying Confederate flags. That is an afront to all Americans! I call on CNN to quit giving all the crazy Tea Party and extremists such a soap box. You should be outraged and it is your job to report truth, not be pawns to nutjobs.

    October 13, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  22. Ben

    Judging any person (not just our president) by the color of their skin or the faith you THING they maybe is bigoted, ant-patriotic, and a slight against the American spirit. These hate-mongers are a disgrace to this proud nation.

    October 13, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  23. Vincent

    At least its useful to know which members of the government are going to run out in front of the village idiots in this so-called 'rally'. No surprise about Palin. Shes still trying to get her face out there as much as possible. Do people still take her seriously? And the comments from Cruz always seem like 1/5 truth, 1/5 fantasy/fiction, 3/5 random chatter all stirred together till people take in the entire concoction.
    In the last election, the republican party had allowed the crazy people in. Now the craziest people are running the party! The party is forcing moderates to go towards the democrats!! Neither party can be trusted!!! If this keeps up, the republicans will become a 'fringe' party, and there wont be anything there to provide some balance to keep the government in check.

    October 13, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  24. Tim Parry Jr.

    News Flash! It's the Tea Party Republicans who chose to not fund the government that shut down our memorial, not President Obama. These Republicans who have raped Veterans of benefits for years under Bush are trying to say they're not responsible when They 100% ARE! To my fellow Vets who are buying into Republican Propaganda, remember that ALL of the improvement in our benefits including the Post 911 GI Bill and the increase in VA staffing to process Disability Claims ALL Came from Obama. You people should turn on those two faced Republicans who claim to support us and tell THEM to stop whining and allow our Republic to work the way the Constitution designed it to. They are spitting on the Constitution by their actions and it makes me sick!

    October 13, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  25. tallulah13

    The simple fact remains: President Obama was elected by the majority in this country. These tea party buffoons have yet to figure out that they are nothing more than a very vocal minority, whining and moaning like spoiled brats because no one is letting them have their way. Their disrespect for this country and it's citizens is laughable and pathetic.

    October 13, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
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