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. Fubarack

    While the Muslim connection is technically true, he was born a Muslim and it's apostasy to leave. I would focus more on Obama's near total policy failures.

    October 14, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. McSame

    I am so sad for our country, and what we have become since the terrorist attacks of 2001. These people are nothing but a celebration of ignorance. They are the blind being led by corporations, used as pawns in a game where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    Osama Bin Laden is dead, but as far as I can tell, he accomplished exactly what he wanted to with the attacks of 2001. If these "protesters" are any indication of the level of intellect in our country, if the likes of Palin and Cruz are the "cream" that rose to the top to lead the tea party movement...I predice many, MANY sad days ahead for our country.

    And, I am reminded of something that journalist Hunter S. Thompson once said: "The scum also rises."

    October 14, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Chicago

    Meanwhile Joe Blow supports a President who lied to the American people about a terrorist attack on an embassy and used the IRS and Justice Department to attack those opposed to him politically. Blind supporters like you are how Nazi Germany came about. The only one not using their brain here is you Joe.

    October 14, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. TheTraveler

    What I find disturbing is that it shouldn't matter at all what religion our President, or any CITIZEN of the US, practices. Isn't "religious freedom" one of our founding principals? How can these people support "freedom" when they don't seem to have even a rudimentary understanding or our Constitution that provides those for those freedoms? It's in a clause of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

    Hypocrisy and ignorance is finding America a comfortable place to live these days ...

    October 14, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. cel1

    enough Fascist BS. stop blaming one man for the problems created by 100 senators and 439 representatives.

    October 14, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Chaz

    ah a moron at his best

    October 14, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. RinosRwinos

    Nothing like ignorance in action. What do you expect from the Tea Party?

    October 14, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Perry Moppins

    why are these people not in jail for breaking into a closed facility? what protections do the Tea Party get that the rest of us don't?

    October 14, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. deee510

    Obama is a great president.he had nothing to do with those memorials being shut down.all this talk about obama being muslim have nothing to do with advancing the country and clearly show why some hate obama.has nothing to do with his policies and everything to do with his skin color.

    October 14, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. jy

    Rallier tells Obama to 'put the Quran down'

    Not ralliers, rioters...

    October 14, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Jim Brody

    Buncha goofballs.

    October 14, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Rod

    Joe Blow has it. People like Ted Cruz not only don't belong in the Senate; they don't belong in the human race, and it's gratifying to know that the American people are realizing that as we're reading this. The Used To Be "Grand" Old Party has already lost the House, and they've likely made enemies for life.

    October 14, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. John

    I think the great Bill O'Reiley said it best ... "I'm sorry ... But with the body of evidence currently out there, if you still believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, then you're just an insane."

    October 14, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Darren

    It took me all of 30 seconds to do a Google search and find numerous Tea Party rallies that turned violent. Put this in the search box, "reporter injured as tea party rally turns violent" and read the top story. Tea partiers kick over a Move.org tent, slash the ropes and canopy and actually hand out pieces of the tent as souvenirs.

    October 14, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Jason Scott


    Sorry to inform you people but many, many Americans support this Veteran's Protest, which is our right by the way. God Bless these people. And piling the barricades at the foot of the White House is a priceless message to this "phony leader."

    The phony leader that was elected by a majority ?
    You are funny.

    October 14, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. kylefromohio

    God Loves and Satan is a liar full of Hate, Where are you lifestyle choices taking you!

    October 14, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. sftommy

    Devils deceit, slander good men with false words

    GOP so far from G O D

    October 14, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. jy

    The right would never allow the left or moderates to do what they did yesterday. Fox and Rush would be screaming bloody murder, how uncivilized these people are.


    October 14, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. thomas tyrrell

    Just another example of how the lies of the extreme right influence the political conversation. I am hopeful that the GOP will chuck the Tea Party, consign its fate to becoming a third party, where it, like all third parties of recent infamy, will fade into the obscurity it deserves.

    October 14, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. BDR

    The Tea-party would make a great breakfast cereal as it's chok full of flakes fruits and nuts.

    The only reason that the government is shut down is because republicans can't accept their own failings and that they are not the majority party.It is unlikely that they ever will be until they start acting like adults rather than petulant children who cant have their way.
    symbolically repealing "Obamacare"43 times is no different than a small child saying No,No,No,No,No,43 times how childish is that,and now to cause the closing of the federal government over their inability to accept the supreme court's decision(a court stacked in their favor with their own man John Roberts casting the deciding vote).
    it's republican attempts at all levels federal state and local to undermine the new healthcare law that has caused this shutdown.
    The right has got to undermine the ACA because if it actually works they will not see the Presidency for the next 40yr's.,All their eggs are in one basket,it's like owning a car that you have sunk too much money into already but you just can't get rid of it now because you have so much invested into it.

    October 14, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Anonymous

    The people attacking Obama are primarily racial. It is Congress and weakness's in our system that permits this to happen.

    October 14, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Name

    I take each issue alone and have my own opinion and sometimes it sides with dems and sometimes with reps. Not every issue has to be sided in your mind based on what Your parties stance is. Most of you not all but most can't have a opinion till you see what side wants what. Its ok to think for yourself and not be followers on every topic. Our country would be in such a better place if the ppl could think for themselves and stand up for what they really believe in.

    October 14, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Alina1

    After listening Palin and Cruz "talking", I thought the books burning is about to start...

    October 14, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. jy

    Put down the Quron????? MORONS

    Maybe these people should pick up the bible and actually read it for once. This is not christian behavior.

    This is birther mentality, but these same birthers say it is OK that Cruz was not born in the US and can be elected president.


    October 14, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. 1montanagal

    Palin and Cruz should be arrested for inciting riot.

    October 14, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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