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. ItSoNlYmE

    We wonder why America is heading down the tubes? We have (apparently a large number of) people who believe against all facts that the President is a Muslim. That human's are not accelerating global climate change. That evolution is a real and ongoing process. That day follows night. We have become a nation of small, closed minds who will believe anything that agrees with our tiny world view, regardless of whether there is any evidence to support it or not. We are witnessing the downfall of a once-great nation.

    October 14, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  2. Mike

    Funny that the Tea Party takes no responsibility for the government shutdown! I would also recommend reading the constitution. Just because you do not agree with a politician is not grounds for impeachment. Last time I checked we did hold democratic elections. Finally, Obama is not a Muslim.

    October 14, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  3. Don

    This has become the face of the republican party. All you republicans out there, are you happy with what has happened to your party? Are you proud? When people call for the death of the president and he is a Kenyan Muslim bent on destroying America, does it make you want to jump up and shout "I am a Republican!"? If the tea party could take control of the whole government do you think you would be happy with what they would do? Republicans have always only offered two things, fear and hate. They offer nothing positive.

    October 14, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  4. Captain Obvious

    I see crazy people.

    October 14, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  5. Peace

    "To bigotry, no sanction." – George Washington

    October 14, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  6. CK

    Too bad these individuals forgot that Thomas Jefferson not only owned, but respected the copy he had of the Koran. Idiots.

    October 14, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  7. say what

    So, the T-Party clan claims the president of this glorious country whom Malala just confronted about using drones, the president who got Bin Laden, the president who actually attends a Christian church... is a muslim? Golly. Let me guess... these actions are "just what you'd expect a closet muslim to do"? That not only makes no sense, i's insane. T-partiers as paranoid, fringe-right-wing closet clans-men... now that makes sense.

    October 14, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  8. Shirley

    Tea Partiers led by a Canadian and a failed Republican wanna be. Such a sad sight. Germans blindly followed Hitler too.

    October 14, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  9. Spec

    sen cruz, palin gather angry mob to damage property, wave confederate flag outside black family's home

    Wish I could claim credit for that but I'm cutting and pasting.

    October 14, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  10. The Mighty Mo

    Hey CNN, it's funny the way you posted these article about my fellow veterans, and truckers, marching on DC. You post them so we can't use our Disqus account to counter the lies being said or accusations being made against the people.

    If you weren't there today, then S T F U because you obviously have no clue what happened, esp since these news sites are NOT going to tell the truth. Last thought, did anyone notice that the vets and the truckers, all of mixed race, differing residencies, faiths, and political views united in one voice, stood tall, and put the blame squarely where it belonged, right where they piled the barriers?

    Good job my fellow compatriots.

    October 14, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  11. Norm

    Tea Party Motto: I've got mine, screw the rest of you!

    October 14, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  12. LeeAT

    And this is Christian?

    October 14, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  13. JulianCA

    Anyone who thinks that a politician of any party would purposefully close a memorial that they knew would cause bad publicity for them isn't thinking too straight. What possible motive would he have for keeping veterans away from a memorial. Besides which, being a veteran isn't a Republican thing - I'm pretty sure there are plenty of Democrat veterans. Anyway, a President has a lot of better things to do with their time than micromanaging all the national parks. The shutdown is very clear - all non-essential federal services are to be shut down. That directive might end up in silly results (like some memorial that isn't staffed being shut down), but you really don't understand how any management of anything works if you think that Obama is spending time reviewing national park entrance policies. I hope he is spending his time on actual big decisions.

    October 14, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  14. Peace

    "The Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion. " – President John Adams, in the Treaty of Tripoli.

    October 14, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  15. Frank Discussion

    The Tea Party had a "Million Vet March" and of course didn't even come close to 1/100th of that number. A few thousand vets who became useful idiots to the Tea Party in their lates treason.
    They shut down the government, then protest the shutdown they caused.

    October 14, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  16. angryoldguy

    After reading these "responses" I can only conclude that there are an awful lot of sick, demented and delusional people here! How much hate can people be filled with? Get some help before you poison yourselves and everyone around you! You are not "seeing the real truth" you are blinded by your hate-fueled rage and fear. You disgust me!

    October 14, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  17. Miss Demeanor

    This Klan just wants to do anything it can to hurt Obama. It is a lynch mob, a witch-hunting expedition that has no good purpose in mind. It has nothing positive to offer. It wants destruction.

    October 14, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  18. loudmusic

    These mouth-breathers sure do love a good rally, don't they? On a related note, I'm given to understand that many psych wards also allow their patients off the premises on a regular basis, under supervision, to get some fresh air and exercise.

    October 14, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  19. Justin

    Ok so for you die hard dems, I want you to go to the american communist party website. Halfway down the page on the left hand side I want you to read the link that states "left unity is result not goal." Seriously look it up. The government is shut down because BOTH sides disagree. They are all terrible politicians. Nothing new. However how is forcing every American to buy healthcare right? Sounds like someone is going to make money in that deal. If Obama had true concerns then it should be an option to purchase for the lower income that cannot get healthcare. Oh wait there is Medicare and Medicaid. All this when we are in debt at near ww2 levels. The Democratic Party is targeting the low income low class individuals. Once those people are on the umbilical cord they are then obligated to vote that direction because they are unable to support themselves. Such as Obama said if you don't make your mortgage you are a deadbeat. Well if you are unwilling to work to provide healthcare for your family I believe that puts you in the same category. However Obama through his actions supports the low class staying low class for his parties benefit. On my last note if a mother, father, or individual cannot afford healthcare now because they don't have an extra couple hundred dollars now then this mandated spending bill will still be unaffordable. Am I wrong? Then those that do not have sufficient income will be on yet another entitlement to survive. Such seems counterproductive. Thank you for your time. I am neither dem or GOP. Just an observer as you all are.

    October 14, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  20. Chedar

    Wait until the President invoke the 14th amendment for the good of this nation. Eat your heart out Tea Partier

    October 14, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. Mark Silvers

    dolts, idiots and buffoons. I've seen better heads on a root beer

    October 14, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  22. Name T

    A bunch of fools! These tea party folks are of their father, the devil.

    October 14, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  23. Chut Pata

    It is about time these guys put their bible down, and kneel down in front of common sense

    October 14, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  24. Mike

    Wow..... This is how we want to lead... We are becoming the laughing stock of the world....

    October 14, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  25. dan

    CNN is trying to lump everyone who disagrees with Obama into the Tea Party...get a grip CNN and quit being the mouth piece of Obama

    October 14, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
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