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. Dave R.

    So Republicans, It IS really all about race, isn't it!!

    October 13, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  2. greg

    At this point in the game, if you do not know that the Republicans refusal to vote on a clean CR by adding to de-fund a law passed by the congress, signed by the president, ratified by 61 million Americans and upheld by the United States Supreme Court then you are stupid. Get out.

    October 13, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. Mubin

    Really? Asking to "put down the Quarn"...? Guess, the GOP has nothing else to say except hide behind the Tea Party's ignorance and judgmental beliefs...enough said!

    October 13, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  4. dzerres

    I can't wait for a Buddhist or Atheist President – a real one! These "Christian Americans" are neither.

    October 13, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. dwhulk23

    I feel insulted by our government. What ever happened to America, our constitution. All of you who took the oath to protect the constitution? I hope you read this and think of JUDGEMENT DAY!!! We will be held accountable. Keep up the good work protesters. God bless the truckers and tea party. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    October 13, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  6. prairedoc

    Though I want to laugh at this, I know there's people like this all over our country and that scares me on many levels. The bill of goods they've been sold by the Tea Party and extremists in the GOP only reflects their ignorance and bigotry. Is this what our country has sunk to?

    October 13, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. barney mason

    No mention that this was a Veterans March. Instead billed by CNN as a Tea Party rally. Interesting take.

    October 13, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  8. captnavenger

    You geniuses using this forum to blame the President for closing down these parks clearly do not understand how funding for these things works. Congress controls the funding. Congress shut the parks down. Not the Democrats in Congress who want to solve the mess. But the very same Tea Party liars who are now using the problem they created to rile up the base and take shots at the White House. Shame on you schmucks for falling for this shell game and believing them.

    October 13, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  9. Sean

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many people, from both sides of the isle, are happily willing to abandon any and all common sense so long as the argument supports their political party. Today it's the republicans with their extremist Tea-Party stupidity. In the past it's been both parties but this just seems different, and if the conservative moderates don't put a leash on their dogs it will have a long term impact on their way of thinking, a very long term. Because the rest of us are getting sick of it.

    October 13, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. James Vetzel

    I'm sorry John, but little Barry can't come out and play right now, he's on a 'time out' and is in the corner sulking and holding his breath. Meanwhile, the Liberals 'circle the wagons' around the drain.

    October 13, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  11. Jessica

    It's only been 13 days. Does any remember the shutdown we had with Bill Clinton? It lasted almost a month. Settle down now. It can't be that bad can it?

    October 13, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  12. Trent

    If you think the shutdown is Obamas fault, you must be one of those people that blame Obama for everything. The Republicans shut the government down, then have the nerve to rally and blame Obama and democrats. When are you so called "republican" voters are going to wake up and smell the coffee? Is your hatred for Obama so great that you are blinded by your own parties misuse of their political powers? Your getting slapped in the face and dont even know it.

    October 13, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  13. KimberlyW.

    ever notice how there are never any spanish, asian black or native people in these people's videos? lol #justsayn

    October 13, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  14. Frankly Speaking

    What on earth is wrong with everyone's ears? Klayman did NOT demand that the president "come out with his hands up." Listen again. He demanded that the president "come up with his hands out." VERY cryptic!

    October 13, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  15. Robert N. constant

    When you consider the level of ignorance, fanaticism, racial hatred and Right Wing party Cliches coming from these Tea Party representatives, and that the mainstream of the Republican House of Representatives under the leadership of the Republican Speaker has given them the "go ahead" and fallen in line with their directions, all Republicans who have any good will , love of decency and love of their country must now look elsewhere for a political party. The Republican Party has been captured by an out of control, mindless mob of knee jerk activists who are borderline certifiable.

    October 13, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. Jim Moore

    Why does CNN give voice to this garbage? A few hundred sheep, led by idiots, get two leading lines in CNN web coverage. There are really relevant national and international news stories to cover. It's this type of dumb-down reporting that fans divisiveness in our country.

    October 13, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  17. JD

    Anyone else see the irony in people who hate the federal government complaining that the government isn't open?

    October 13, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. Randalian

    Them confederates need another dose of Gen. WT Sherman marching up & down their bums.

    October 13, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. ryanwi

    "Put the Quran down" besides being factually incorrect is utterly indefensible. I thought Mr. Klayman was a defender of the Constitution. Not that pesky First Amendment, but Article 6. You know the one that ends with"...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

    October 13, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  20. Jetranger

    Its OFFICIAL , NO more Obama, No more Democrats or Republicans , their all Fired !!! effective immediately !
    I am now your New President, I'm also your New Congress and Senate ! me and me alone ! with that being said – lets ALL Toast , United WE Stand – United WE come together ! The White House is now officially up for Sale, as the Government will now be run from my Brick House here in the Midwest ! Your Welcome to Visit anytime , armed or unarmed ! Food is Free & Drinks are Free always ! 1st order of business – Slash TAXES !!! No more sending money to foreign countries , Closing down the southern border ! and I've got a few Corporate BANKSTERS to Arrest, who wants to help me do that ???

    October 13, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  21. Rachel

    I'm so upset after reading this article. Republicans are going off the deep end. They should be ashamed of themselves! These "leaders" are jokes. President Obama is not to blame. Ofcourse, veterans should be supported. They fought and risked their lives for us...but this situation should not be used to trash talk our United States President. I'm 22, female, and a registered Democrat and.proud of it! Hilary 2016 🙂

    October 13, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. deeceeuci

    What a bunch of fools. "Our monuments are close. Boo Hoo" What about the shutdown effecting hungry humans from getting food? Don't hear them whine about that. But inconvenience their "holiday" and Obama is the devil. How can anyone have respect for the Tea Party and these ultra conservatives?

    October 13, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  23. DERASA

    It is despicable how some people keep disrespecting the will of the majority of the people in this country ...

    October 13, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  24. Stella

    Shame on all of you who made fun of our war heroes and the Tea Party that represented them. A bunch of cowards you all are.

    October 13, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. DENNA

    @ Patricia – Listen to you people, you are calling our veterans, the people who have served this country names, talk about classless.
    Really, Patricia? Classless. Are you aware that a lot of WWII vets come from a time and place where their white skin made them kings. Now many WWII vets have caught up with the time and some – not so much. Why not dump the gates at the Capitol too? Bonehead Boehner refuses to bring any of the bills up for a .. So if President Obama is to blame, Boehner must also be to blame too. Be fair, if you can, Ms. Tea Party

    October 13, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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