WWII Memorial Protesters Wave Confederate Flags, Tell Obama to "Put Down the Quran"

Thousands of protesters rallied this Sunday at the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. to protest its closing due to the partial government shutdown. Leading many of the speeches and songs for the protesters were former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee of (R-Utah). The protest was a reflection of the craziness that has been the government shutdown so far, with oddities ranging from an appearance by Captain America to the brandishing of the Confederate flag.

This protest was destined for eccentricity. Its foundations were birthed in the political flames of an argument over something that — wait— why isn't this argument over yet? After all, Obamacare has already been approved by Congress, signed into law by the president, and sanctioned by the Supreme Court.

Sunday was certainly a hodgepodge of songs, chants, remarks, and emotions. The crowd chanted verses such as "you work for us" and "tear down these walls." Chants were interspersed by renditions of patriotic songs like "God Bless America." One protester, Jeff Thompkins argued that "Our constitutional rights are being taken away. People made the ultimate sacrifice, and they should be open to the public." (Visiting memorials is not one of the rights protected by the Constitution.)

A man clad in the suit of a comic book superhero demanded an end to the government shutdown. Captain America's part of the rally, the Million Vet March, coincided with a trucker protest added to the bizarre atmosphere. Some protesters carried signs that read "Impeach Obama," while others proudly flew the Confederate flag over the heads of the crowd. Some attendees, such as Larry Klayman, called for Obama to "leave town" and "put the Quran down."

Later, after pushing past barriers blocking the memorial, other protesters carried metal barricades to the White House and stacked them in front of police in riot gear chanting "shame on you."

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Erica Wadzinski

Hi, I'm Erica. I'm currently an ESL teacher living in Jining, Shandong, China. I've also taught English in the country of Georgia and have been traveling during and in between school and teaching jobs abroad since 2010. I'm an English and Spanish double major who loves languages, travel, writing, and classic literature. A healthy obsession with mixed martial arts (mma) for me pacifies the occasional bout of homesickness.

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