Thousands of Americans have taken the government shutdown into their own hands, literally, as they stormed into the nation’s capital, tearing down barricades blocking off the World War II Memorial on the National Mall Sunday morning.
“Barrycades are down,” tweeted Sherry Lucas, a reference to President Barack Obama’s childhood nickname of Barry.
Many of the barricades were then hand-carried by the protesters and dumped in front of the White House.
This weekend has seen the convergence of U.S. veterans and truckers on the nation’s capital, as many protest the closure of public memorials as well as the president’s policies.
Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addressed the crowd at 9:30 a.m. and were later joined by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
The Million Vet March website indicates, "The actions of the U.S. government this week with regard to barricading and shutting down the World War II Memorial to veterans, that may or may not be on their last trip to Washington D.C., is a despicable act of cowardice.
"Veterans this week were unwillingly pitted as pawns in this crisis. We feel that this should never be the case. This is why we will go to Congress after the budget crisis and ask for a bill to be introduced that would prevent any member of the government from closing our memorials down to any American, except for maintenance purposes.
"Many in our group have decided that enough is enough. We are Americans. We are proud of our heritage and our service. As all of us were military brats and spouses, we have served in some form or another our entire lives. This is our way of life. We will not stand by and let the U.S. government dishonor the legacy of sacrifice of the generations before us."
Sunday's crowd chanted, "Tear down these walls!" and belted out "God Bless America" and other patriotic songs.
Video shows riot police showing up with batons at a peaceful protest outside the White House:
According to WTOP-TV, "Tractor-trailers headed down 17th Street toward the Mall, blaring their horns. The Metropolitan Police Department blocked off the street, prompting the crowd to head up the street, shouting at the police to move their vehicles. ...
"By 11 a.m., the group had headed back to the memorial, and dozens congregated around World War II veterans, shaking their hands and thanking them for their service."
Comments from participants and readers are now being posted in many online forums, with remarks including:
- "Wow, finally the 'real' Americans show up in D.C.! Reid and Obama: You can't call on the SEALs because the SEALs are ALREADY there!"
- "God bless our veterans! Too bad they didn't drag President Mooslim out of his hiding place."
- "These are privately funded monuments, and they belong to the citizens of this country, especially to those who fought, died and came home torn inside out. Back off demonic Democrats. You are picking on the wrong people, but we clearly see who's side you are really on, and it is NOT on the side of Americans."