Rally At World War II Memorial Ends At White House - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rally At World War II Memorial Ends At White House

NBCNEWS.COM - Protestors of the government shutdown began at the World War II Memorial early Saturday morning and ended at the White House gates and fence Saturday afternoon.

The group was upset with the closure of memorials in Washington due to the shutdown stalemate. The original WWII protest was organized by the Million Vet March group, but took on a more political tone. According to NBC News, the president was in the White House at the time the protesters arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Video from cameras on the White House lawn showed people carrying barricades, presumably from the WW II memorial, to the fence.

The DC Police Department said via Twitter that they were on the scene with the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police. NBC News desk assistant Brittany Marshall reported a sizable police presence moved protestors away from the White House fence.

News 4's Derrick Ward said the crowd dissipated shortly thereafter with some people getting on buses to leave the area. Members of the Million Vet March planned on gathering at the World War II Memorial on Sunday despite the memorial being closed due to the government shutdown. According to a statement on the group's website, they feel military personnel and veterans are "being used a political pawns in the ongoing government shutdown and budget crisis."

Organizers say they are not a political leaning group, but call the shutting down of memorials "a despicable act of cowardice." However, conservative political commentator Sarah Palin and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) arrived and spoke to the people gathered at the memorial. "This is the people's memorial," Palin said. "Our veterans should be above politics."

Ward reported some truckers who have attempted to slow beltway traffic this weekend as a protest measure made their way down to the Tidal Basin area. Police blocked off roads in an attempt to keep streets clear.

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