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. Sick

    I hope by now we have seen the lies, tricks and out-of-context quotes that our politicians have illustrated. Keep that in mind for the next election. Vote out those politicians who don't have the country and people in mind.

    October 14, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. jera

    Tony what concessions exactly have they offered? Cutting benefits to the poor and disabled including everyone of those Veterans that were at the rally. But still the people in the US who make the most money with the most assets pay less in Social Security taxes, medicare taxes and income taxes. I mean really?? Concessions would make you think they were compromising. The tea party is not into concession they are into destroying not building. Blaming with no solutions. The whole GOP is not bad. But Wow when a few can scare the many like this I think we should be scared!!

    October 14, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Michael VA

    You needn't look any further for the cause of this shutdown then some white republicans fear/hate of Obama. It may not be fair, but because this ist he crap you see from the Tea Party, whenever I see or hear the words "Tea Party" I see/hear "racists".

    October 14, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Jessie

    Should it matter if he is muslim? No! Would it matter if he lied about it? For me yes, for liberals, no. They have proven they could care less what he lies about. He lied about who his father is (is really communist leader frank marshall davis) and has lied and completely covered up his whole past. Everything hr campaigned on was a lie, everything about syria is a lie. And what he can't pay to have covered-up about his past-he lies. You lberals on your high-horse speak of racism-you through around the race card every time someone has legitimate concerns, yet-you know damn well no white man could ever be elected who completely sealed all his records, from birth, to school, to career. Also, if we supposedly dont like him because he is half-black then you all are racist against latinos and that's why you hate ted cruz! See how ignorant that sounds? Well that's been your calling card for the last 5 yrs, it's time to look at legitimate concerns and through your race babble in the garbage!

    October 14, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. falcon partiot

    President Obama. YOU are the President of the Unites States of America. YOU are accountable for everything done by the government of the United States of America. YOU are responsible and accountable for EVERYTHING that happens by all members of congress – Democrat or Republican. YOU are accountable for the shutdown. YOUR government is causing this. Not just the Republicans, and not just the Democrats. YOUR government. The moment you blame YOURSELF, and NO one else, is the moment you might just gain a bit of respect.
    NO TRUE AMERICAN would have let it come to this.

    October 14, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Donny

    HAHA, this guy is rediculous. Where does he get his facts? Extremests, can live with them, can't . . .

    October 14, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Milton Cooper

    President Obama is not a muslim but a follower of the mystery babylon schools for the ultra mega wealthy which is taught in freemason lodges and frats like the Boule (black skull & bones) at Harvard which the POTUS has ties to.

    October 14, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. TonyInNYC

    Wasn't the treat to shut down the government a threat because it would be unpleasant for all Americans?

    October 14, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Wake up People!

    I have to laugh when I read these comments. Sometimes because I'm truly tickled and other times to keep from crying. One minute the POTUS is a dictator, the next he's weak and can't lead. And typically these things are spewed by people that can't even spell the word THE.

    October 14, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. art

    50K people, soooo NOT A MILLION, LMFAO!

    October 14, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. deadlikeme

    The President attends a Christian church, has waged war against countries where Muslim is the Primary religion and killed more terrorist leaders then his predecessor. Yet people like Larry Klayman are in denial and refuse to give this President any credit. Then wonder why the two sides can't make any progress.

    October 14, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Carl W. Goss

    Klayman the Wacko Bird.

    October 14, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. eww

    Are these people, I'm being generous, really truly Vets? Have they been held hostage to understand what is really going on with these republicans on Capitol Hill? If this is the genre which consider themselves Vets, it really makes me wonder how they ever processed things. It doesn't seem they realize that the President, moderate Republicans, and Democrats along with the American people are all being held hostage by extremists holding a gun to everyone's head while they keep changing their demands...first it was ACA. However 5 million people sought to sign up on day 1. Now it's cutting spending in order to raise the debt limit for debt, unbeknownst to them, was created as far back as the 1980s and we're still paying it off. These extremist haven't even discussed the possibility of of reducing their contribution to the debt. In these days and times when corporations are shedding pension plans, these morons aren't about to discuss freezing and eliminating theirs. Once they leave Congress they have the ability to earn monies far greater than the average US citizen. If they are suggesting austerity...it's like charity...it begins at home. So clean their house first.

    October 14, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. briancramer

    What a blithering bunch of idiots! Really so the people elected him he passed a law which stood up in court, now the republicans cant rationalize what the people want so they piss and moan for months eventually shutting down the government and you blame Obama for not bending over. So to you and American should bend over and not stand for the countries laws. I dont want to live in the country you people profess to want!

    October 14, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Kevin 'Demortes' Dethlefs-Moreno

    o.O The guy in the thumbnail looks a little like Jerry Springer... for good reason? Interested in more drama than results I think.

    October 14, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Wise1Speak


    This is a matter for Democratic leaders to strongly and directly repudiate. For Larry Klayman to stand at the steps of the WWII Memorial and use hateful, treasonous speech to attack the Commander-in-Chief while a veteran waves a confederate flag in the background is wicked and treacherous.

    At the very least Democratic leaders should come out in full force against such repugnant use of a sacred national monument for the purpose of giving speeches on sedition, revolution, and secession. The haters may give their hateful speeches in a back alley, but not on the WWII Memorial.

    October 14, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. reignman

    interesting that Palin and Cruz (who are not vets) are leading a vet march that is protesting the shutdown in which they supported in the first place.

    October 14, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    This is stupid.what he was obviously pointing out by saying"drop your Quran" is Obama's love with the Muslim extremists and his blind eye toward the Muslim religion and it's lack of policing itself.

    October 14, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Dakota Erikson

    The monuments to war are closed? Oh my god! What insignificant drivel. Why are they not holding rallies because there are children who are no longer being fed due to the shut-down? I am talking about LIVING children, not marble. Hopefully, one day we will have no need of monuments to war. but instead to peace. Meanwhile, let's feed the children, for crying out loud.

    October 14, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    How dare you CNN turn this event around and make it look like a Tea Party Rage. This event was set up by our Veterans. Ones that fought for this country and are tired of seeing what it has become. It had nothing to do with The left or the right. It was the fact the war memorials were being closed every where and they were not going to have it. You didn't even say how this veterans took the barricades down and moved them aside so people could enjoy what is ours. This is our country. What you decided to write on were the separate protesters that were around and threw them into the crowd with the veterans .You followed the wrong people. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!! IF you can't report the facts of a story, then don't report. But do NOT throw our Veterans under the bus. They are the reason you have the freedom to report the lies that you do. I have grandfathers, uncles, fathers, a husband, brothers, and two sons that have all either been in the military or are still serving and this is disrespectful to them all. CNN. You need to do an on the air and online apology to all of our veterans. What has happened to us as a country that we have stooped so low. I hope you have lost all that use to watch, I know you have me, and go off the air. And to all our many wonderful veterans and to those that are still serving. THANK YOU!! Proud Army and Marine Mom!!!

    October 14, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. sickofitall

    so one nut job in a rally of thousands earns headline status for an entire day on CNN? no bias in reporting here. pathetic

    October 14, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Michael

    No one in goverment speaks for For nor do they repesent him - let me make that clear.
    The lords Michael

    October 14, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. mike

    regardless of how "backward" those others were, they were civilized enough not to say "put the bible down". It looks like we have a segment in our society that is more backward than those others.

    October 14, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Squealy

    I love the tea crowd. They keep me entertained.

    October 14, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Harald

    What a ignorant pack of morons ! How does somebody come up with the idea that Obama is a Muslim ? Where is proof or at least the slightest evidence for such nonsensical claim ?
    Even if it were true, there is no law that says that that POTUS can't be a Muslim. Hey, he could even be a scientologist, Buddhist or belong to some other obscure group of faithful.
    Although, personally I'd prefer an atheist.

    October 14, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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