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. TeamMe

    Pure evil.

    October 14, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. chiniquy

    A gathering of village idiots. Not everyone who served in the military have good sense. When I was on active duty I encountered many racists with KKK sympathies.

    October 14, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Mike Trottier

    I REFUSE to vote for a teatard,.....and it will be a very long time before I ever vote for a republican again.

    October 14, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. Michael in Houston

    The Tea party is drawing its last breath...beginning in the midterm 2014 and again in 2016 elections this country will remove every single of them from office and we can return to a more moderate assembly of rational thinking leaders.
    The tea party serves absolutely zero purpose....they are nothing but a collection of white middle aged angry citizens who have a droning negative message that has gotten as old as they are. They are the worst in both ideas and political negotiation.
    The day will soon come when being connected to the tea party will be like having the ebola virus.

    October 14, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. rs

    This is the GOP/TP today: idiots with confederate flags, spouting anti-government nonsense, holding the economy hostage. All they need to complete the image is fresh, brown shirts.
    These aren't politicians of any credibility, they are thugs. Thugs who should be in jail.

    October 14, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Ron

    GOP = FAILURE. Go back home, you're destroying our country.

    October 14, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. johnny

    Palin was at the rally spewing just the opposite of what she spewed last week.Last week she said let the government chill. People will see how irrelevent the government is in our lives and the shutdown won't affect anyone. She is a media #hor^-

    October 14, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Dnice12

    People ask for respect for Vets when the person they are rallying behind say's "Obama put down the Quran". Come on folks you can't possibly be this ignorant. These people are part of the problem not the solution.

    October 14, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. The Religior

    Funny, everybody there is white, and most of them from Fox, plus I recognize lots of Tea Party members there.
    Laughing because of America's stupidity and inability to work together and compromise to save the Union.

    October 14, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. rob

    To say that these " patriots" have the brains of a tapeworm would be slandering invertebrates. Somehow they seem to feel that racist and religious language is something they can chant in order to justify their racial and religious bigotry. What god do you believe preached hatred ?
    Look in the mirror tea party imbeciles. You are not a party or a movement. You are a band of morons whose 15 minutes of fame is over. Go back to dixie and shut up.

    October 14, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. jofb716

    Maybe Klayman should concentrate more on making child support payments and not touching children inappropriately. Those would be actual facts as opposed to the fear mongering espoused by this creep.

    Tea Party People...do better background checks before you let quacks speak on your behalf.

    October 14, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. The Religior

    This country can learn of the EU. A cluster mix of several countries and dozens of languages working just fine. One country can't even get their facts straight.

    October 14, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Mike-sc

    if you have no arguments, use lies and hatred. These guys are really good at that. They can't be Christians either because they are lying when their lips move

    October 14, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Laverne

    It is sad that these so called Christians or American Patriots do nothing but spew hateful and spiteful rhectoric all the time. The hate they bestow upon the POTUS is very sad and shameful. Look at that crowd, nothing but white people who are fearful someone is taking something away from them. It is like looking at a KKK meeting in progress. These people are no better than the radical muslim they have become to hate. Two wrongs don't make a right and their distain for anybody different than their own is disturbing. The republicans should be ashamed of themselves for causing this shutdown and then making their low informed, low IQ followers believe it is Obama's fault. The republicans picked this fight and now don't know how to fix it. This foolish man is hollering put down your Quran, well you can tell he obviously has never picked up a bible or he wouldn't be out there behaving and talking the way he is. He is what's wrong with this country and people who are stupid enough to follow him, not because they have any real cause they are standing up for, but they love to jump on the HATE OBAMA ban wagon. Ignorant people in action!!!!

    October 14, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. anonymous

    Do some of these vets understand that it's the Republicans that want to cut their benefits?

    October 14, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. rs


    Are any of you ever going to hold Obama responsible for anything. Take off your blinders. He is every bit as responsible as the tea party.
    Sorry, Debbie- this one is all yours. Your guys ran on shutting down the Government in 2010 (the idiot who sent the letter to Boehner demanded a government shutdown, along with 80 other GOP signatories). Then, they did shut doen the government. First, this was about the ACA- but I guess when the economic damage caused by the GOP far exceeded that you guys claim the ACA will accomplish (no factss provided, naturally), you gave that up. Can you honestly say why your fools shut down the government? No. Just like your stupid war in Iraq, you have started a war with no end strategy. I think GOP leaders deserve jail time for this little stunt.

    October 14, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. Carol

    These people are displaying their ignorance.
    In addition, to have Cruz and Palin present shows the calibre of those present.

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. nmmell08

    Republican and Proud: My definition of real patriotism is supporting the ideals and principles of this country are founded on. Holding the country hostage as the minority party (GOP) becasue you don't like a law that was passed by congress and upheld by the supreme court is not patriotic, it is against everything this country idealy stands for. If you want a law changed, win an election

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. jofb716

    So, a deadbeat child toucher represents your party with opportunistic yet transparent fear mongering and lies.

    Nicely played, Tea Party!

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. The Religior

    Remember Lincoln People,"One house divided against itself cannot stand!"

    October 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. Jake Bullen

    The President isn't shutting down memorials or shutting out veterans. The memorials are closed because the people who work at the memorials are furloughed. Imagine if the barriers hadn't been erected and anyone was allowed to visit the memorials without any supervision. Think about how much trash would be left behind that wouldn't be picked up, or the damage that could be done to the memorial because there's no one there to watch what's going on. Veterans are used as political pawns whenever it's convenient for our representatives, they scream and cry from the rooftops but as soon as a vet needs something....he/she is forgotten. It makes me sick. Pass the budget, reopen the government and stop this childish grandstanding enough is enough.

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. Don

    When this is the kind of ridiculous crapolla that comes from the Tea party is it any wonder the Republican party is becoming a total joke.

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Anonymous

    They need to be yellling at Ted Cruz who started all of this,not Pres Obama.

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Mike Trottier

    Todays tea baggers and republicans are on the WRONG SIDE of History.
    YOU people are WRONG! YOU are what's WRONG with this country.
    It is WRONG to VOTE for these people,.......just listen to them!
    cruz,..palin,...lee,....west,....these people are fuc-king nuts!!!!!!!!
    Do Americans Really Want These kinds Of People Actually Running Our Great Country? I Don't Think So.

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. John Trenfield

    Reminiscent of 1960's student protests where they occupied university campuses, memorials, and monuments. They were beaten and incarcerated. Why not these people? They're the same kind of law breakers, just far less intelligent.

    October 14, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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