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

    The extremists conservatives are a couple of steps away from arrest. Spewing their hatred is sickening and I am personally offended. Their heads will explode when they realize all the damage they have caused was for nothing when the negotiations with Harry Reid is over. No more threats. Guess they will have to come up with another strategy, as they drag the GOP down with them.

    October 14, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. Anon

    Larry Klanman, teatard extraordinaire.

    October 14, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. B I G

    It's amazing how blind you Obama defenders will allow yourself to be rather than admit you made a huge mistake.

    October 14, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  4. Wake up People!

    Urging people to revolt against the government, yet these are the same people wanting to run it. How would they feel if the dems were urging revolt if their candidate was POTUS. They'd be screaming from the rooftops about what traitors the democratic party was.

    October 14, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  5. politicallyinsurrect

    Yes, yell at the democrats for driving the republicans to shut down the government. Next, why don't we blame Poland and the Jewish faith for driving Hitler to become a murderous lunatic.

    October 14, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  6. Data Driven

    They're worried about opening memoriais; yet they're totally fine with denying food stamps to the wives of soldiers currently serving overseas. Where's the "Food Assistance March"? Of course, if we actually paid our soldiers a decent wage, maybe food stamps would not be necessary, que non?

    Anyway, it's funny that a "Million Veteran March" turned out to be just another sparsely attended "tea party" event. By the way, get your own name for your event, next time. "Million March" was already used.

    October 14, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  7. Name

    Sounds & looks like rebellious & out of control children, having no regards 4 an authoritative figure, which ultimately leads 2 their own destructive & general demise. Talking, Time Out, Crying, Praying, Spanking; NOTHING, is good enough & doing something won't do... Lies will continue 2 b told because there is simply NO truth n u. And where did the idea of "Million" Vet "March" come from any-way?... Did u steal that too?

    October 14, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. ct

    The people of this country are like sheep, and the Obama administration and the government are the shepherds. You are roaming the green pastures ( freedom) and the shepherds are tapping a grain bucket (welfare, Obama care, etc.) as you follow that bucket they start building a fence up around you. The grain seems to be endless. Once you are all corraled into the fence a gate is put up and locked. Then the grain that was so plentiful begins, to be less because now the shepherds decide they can do other things with this grain to benefit themselves. You sheep begin to protest, but the only ones who will listen will be the other sheep that have been corraled. Eventually the grain will be gone, and you will not survive because you became to dependent on the shepherd.

    Just remember the wealthy are the ones in politics, politicians are running our country, they will tell you what you want to hear, but they will do what the wealthy pay them to do,

    October 14, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  9. BrianRunsPhilly

    And now you see their true colors. I would say that his speech borders on inciting violence against the President. If Cruz had one shred of decency he'd denounce Klayman. Senator McCain at least had the civility to stand up for Obama when his party started with the Muslim name calling.

    October 14, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  10. Ned

    We need to make the Tea Party illegal like the Nazi Party is in Germany. These people's only interest is to undermine our federal government and other people's civil liberties; they are enemies of the State. There was another group of people in our nation's history that behaved this way; and I don't see any reason why the Tea Party should be treated any differently than Jeff Davis and his slave-holding secessionist cronies. They are as dangerous to the US as the Muslim Brotherhood is to Egypt.

    October 14, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  11. Stephen

    I'm sorry folks but this was not a "Tea Party" rally although I'm sure there were lots and lots of conservatives of all different stripes there. This was from the beginning a VETERANS protest. I am personally acquainted with some of the "Million Vet March" people and can tell you that they are great bunch of veterans and veteran support organizations like the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard Riders, both motorcycle riding clubs, who are dedicated to honoring those who have served in all American conflicts by, among other things, riding escort for the bodies and families of our fallen brothers and sisters. (in the interest of full disclosure I am proud to be a member of both of these riding clubs) Don't let the introduction of politics by Ted Cruz and Sara Palin cloud the issue. Remember anywhere that there is a crowd you will find politicians looking for photo ops. So, please give credit where credit is due. This was a veteran's rally, look at the photos most the people there were wearing either leathers with military patches sewn onto them or civilians with other insignias of their service. This all started when the "Million Vet Ride" group was formed to protest the refusal of the DC police to issue a permit for motorcycle groups to do an annual Memorial day ride through DC (an event that has been observed for decades), add to that the blocking of WWII vets from their own memorial and the Million Vet March idea was born, the first event was the day after the WWII memorial farce not this weekend as the article suggests.
    I would like to see this story written from the point of it's intended purpose, not as the political Democrat vs Republican event and definitely not a Tea Party event. It was an event designed for veterans groups to honor veterans.

    October 14, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  12. politicallyinsurrect

    Yes, yell at the democrats for driving the republicans to shut down the government. Next, why don't we blame Poland and the Jewish faith for driving Hitler to become a murderous lunatic. Who cares about the concept of cause and effect.

    October 14, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  13. Pamela

    Look at other nations that were beholden to extreme views. Germany would be a good historical example of how a small group of people were able to spread hatred and untruths. That extremism was quite scary in how many people supported without question the ideology to support the Nazi Party/ National Socialist German Workers Party. Then who secretly opposed them did so at the risk of death.

    October 14, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  14. shamgar50

    Baggers never change!

    October 14, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  15. Data Driven

    @The Taxman,

    "Of course it was Obama and his cronies that shut down the government and are threatening us with the debt ceiling"


    'The speaker is pretty correct on the Muslim in the White House as Obama surely is not an American"


    October 14, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  16. Matthew

    We all know that President Obama has said he is a Christian. However, why are people who don't believe him called "radical" or "extreme" by the media? Refusing to believe a politician is normal not extreme.

    October 14, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  17. yuri

    Bigotry is seen at its best (or worst). These wacko birds ought to be chased out and made to work, rather than shirk. Obama ain't without fault either. The Dems should atleast think about the medical device tax and income verification for the healthcare subsisies, officially, before the (artificial) debt limit date..

    October 14, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  18. Steven

    actually that is 100% incorrect, you are all going down because you elected anoither Democrat, this time...OBAMA...period !!!

    worst American president in your countries history, a liar, and a complete fraud, who gave 250 Million of your tax dollars to Pakistan 3 months before Bin laden was found there living on it and then claimed responsibility for his capture and killing when in fact he had 100% of Nothing to do with it, and then denied closure and forgot about your dead and allowed only himself and a few others to see the body !!!!

    October 14, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |

    This is America...land of freedoms right? One of those freedoms being religion. President Obama is a Christian, BUT were he Muslim there would be nothing illegal or morally wrong about that. I can't wait for a day when we get an atheist in the White House, then I will really believe in American freedom.

    October 14, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  20. Tea Party

    Is Ted Cruz the new GrandMaster or the Tea Party Clan? From those pictures and rhetoric is safe to say the chant, "if it ain't white, it ain't right" was looming on the mall.

    Tea Party = KKK


    October 14, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  21. Data Driven


    "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)."

    Prove? What "order"? Can you tell us where to look for that online?

    October 14, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  22. Realityblowz

    When the president even had the handles removed from public drinking fountains, just to be a prick, it proves what type of people that Democrats really are, and who they really are. And now you are wondering why there is backlash? How naieve.

    October 14, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  23. Gerry Daley

    Total crackpots being shepherded by the Crackpots-in-Chief, media pigs Palin and Cruz.

    October 14, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  24. Humanity4All

    Larry Klayman, because of people like hate and killings exist in this world. You are a sick creature and You will face the lord and be punished the most severe way.

    You are inciting hate against Americans all over the world. You certainly should be handed over to those who can teach you a lesson and gradually suck oxygen out of you.

    October 14, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  25. The German

    As a German living in the U.S I am more than shocked. This same reaction one can see with the Neo Nazi party, only back home they are ignored and silenced by the crowed. While here they actually gain ears.
    How can a party, who intentionally shut down the government as to oppose a President for his color of his skin, his 'apparent' religion (while he is CHRISTIAN) have the right to speak up? This isn't about any health care bill. This is purely hate against a person and unwillingness to cooperate to normal political negotiations. May I remind you why you're country dropped down? For it was a unnecessary war caused by a REPUBLICAN president at the time. Now who do they blame? Never themselves, but the next african-american democrat who gets elected the next round. Do we always agree with Obama? No. Syria was a mistake to even 'threaten' and the Russians did the right thing. Nevertheless, what difference is this video to a rally of the Klu Klux Klan?
    Tea partyers, you are hurting your country more than doing good.

    October 14, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
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