News / USA

US Government Shutdown Draws Array of Protests

Mason Palmer (R), 10 months old, has his picture taken by his father in front of federal workers demonstrating for an end to the U.S. government shutdown on the west front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
Mason Palmer (R), 10 months old, has his picture taken by his father in front of federal workers demonstrating for an end to the U.S. government shutdown on the west front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
Chris Hannas
The partial U.S. government shutdown is forcing hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home, restricting or shuttering government services, and sparking protests calling for lawmakers to end the budget impasse.

With no spending plan for the fiscal year that began October 1, national parks closed, most investigators who probe outbreaks of food-borne illnesses stopped going to work, and the government quit issuing reports on the state of the economy.

The shutdown is set to begin its third week on Tuesday, with Americans seeing a personal impact with delays on things like getting home loans and income tax refunds.

Protesters with the "Million Vet March on the Memorials" rally in front of the National U.S. World War II Memorial in Washington October 13, 2013.Protesters with the "Million Vet March on the Memorials" rally in front of the National U.S. World War II Memorial in Washington October 13, 2013.
Protesters with the "Million Vet March on the Memorials" rally in front of the National U.S. World War II Memorial in Washington October 13, 2013.
Protesters with the "Million Vet March on the Memorials" rally in front of the National U.S. World War II Memorial in Washington October 13, 2013.
The effects have sparked protests in big cities and small towns, including Sunday in Washington where a few hundred people at a rally called by the conservative Tea Party movement tore down barricades erected at closed monuments and memorials on the National Mall.  They took some of the barricades to the White House along with signs critical of President Barack Obama.  

Some government critics, including Tea Party supporters, charge the Obama administration ordered popular public sites closed in an effort to maximize the effects of the government shutdown for political gain.

Republican Congressman Ted Cruz is one of several conservatives who want reforms to Obama's signature healthcare legislation before agreeing to a spending bill.  He addressed the crowd at the National World War II memorial on the National Mall and questioned why it was being kept closed.

"Let me ask a simple question," Cruz said, "Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?"

Protester Jim Weller expressed his displeasure with the closure.

"I'm here today to stand up for my rights," he said.  "My father was a World War II veteran, shot down in the Philippines in 1945, and for them to shut down this Memorial is absurd.  He earned this."

Demonstrators also went to the U.S. Capitol to voice their criticism of Congress, which has repeatedly failed to agree on a budget and relied on so-called continuing resolutions to fund the government for several years.

Big cities, small towns upset

At Valley Forge National Historic Park near Philadelphia, a group of runners turned out Sunday to protest park closures and fines that have been levied against those caught running on the grounds since the shutdown went into effect.

Earlier protests brought out federal workers in cities like Chicago, Boston and Atlanta, and union members and citizens in Plano, Texas; Newton, New Jersey and Springettsbury, Pennsylvania.  

More demonstrations are planned for this week.  Religious leaders and furloughed workers plan to visit lawmakers' offices Tuesday in Washington.  

At least one American is not waiting for lawmakers to act.  The shutdown has kept groundskeepers from working on the National Mall, but a South Carolina man showed up last week and began mowing grass, raking leaves and picking up trash around the grounds that hold many monuments and memorials.  

His actions have inspired others to join his civic-minded mission to maintain the sites as the federal shutdown drags on.  With volunteers working around him Saturday, Cox downplayed his role while speaking about the symbolic significance of the sites.

"People think I'm enjoying all this attention," Cox told The Washington Post.  "I'm going to enjoy the attention of the government getting and fixing its problems and coming together and representing us."

  • Protesters pile barricades in front of the White House in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • Police scuffle with protesters taking part in the "Million Vet March on the Memorials" that drew hundreds of demonstators in front of the White House in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • A man carries an "Impeach Obama" sign while protesting outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • A protester speaks to people gathered at a rally at the World War II Memorial in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a rally at the World War II Memorial in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • Kaylee, Sherry and Michael Cantrell pose for a photo with a sign and removed barricades at the World War II Memorial in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • People rally at the World War II Memorial in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • Protesters rally at the National U.S. World War II Memorial in Washington, Oct. 13, 2013.

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Comment Sorting
by: usgovtshutdown
October 26, 2013 3:33 AM
Discuss the shutdown on

by: rick from: pa
October 16, 2013 12:57 PM
This shut down has to take place Obama care is a communist bill. It's about power why else would they want a bill that spikes cost, limits care, limits choice. It's all about power!! You have the freedom to smoke but we have the freedom to fine u for it. That's what there after unless someone can tell me the pros, common sense that's what America has lost. The people that are suppose to represent us where going to quit when they found out they where going to have to sign up to Obama care. What does this tell you,,,is it in ur best interests and do they represent you?????????

by: Scott from: Colorado
October 16, 2013 6:57 AM
This article is purely biased. Those "tea party protesters" are actually Veterans. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin just conveniently showed up to encourage them! Veterans organizations are diverse and do not have partisan sides other then to the constitution and the benefits for service promised by the government. These benefits are not even handouts the modern welfare system was modeled off of the Civil War VA system. In my opinion if you want benefits join the military and go through school or just do it the old fashion way which is hard work. If you all want to know I am a Veteran and I do believe President Obama is using us as a political pawn and so is the Republicans neither side really values us.

by: dawn from: ky
October 15, 2013 2:09 PM
please do research before you write an article the protest on Sunday was not the tea party. It was the truckers and bikers patriots standing up for our vets and the thousands that attended are true patriots. What ever happened to true journalism. All the press was invited to this rally. some of the tea party people did show up. where was the democrats they showed up at the illegal immigrants rally and spoke you will show up for illegal immigrants but not vets who have put their life on the line for you and me? its a sad time in the USA we look week we need to stand together as did our forefathers
In Response

by: Anonymous from: Colorado
October 15, 2013 3:05 PM
You can't take out your anger on democrats for being at Immigrant rallies and not being at Veteran rally. Because if you simply would have thought about what is going on, why are Tea Party members in rallies, but are not working for a change. They are all talk but when called to change, they won't agree with anyone until they have it their way. They are acting like the spoiled brats they truly are. We do need to stand together and make our forefathers proud but please don't involve illegal immigrants into the argument. It makes it like you seem desperate to make a point, and makes it seem incredibly weak. By the way, don't be criticizing the journalists work when you truly don't quite know how to spell. He does this for a living.

by: chas holman from: USA
October 15, 2013 12:35 PM
I understand why the Republican Senate is really starting to hate the GOP Congress almost as much as 75% of the rest of the American people.

The GOP led Congress was so inept the had Senate to get involved.. So the Senate hashes out a fairly reasonable compromise, and the GOP led house has a fit and try's to sneak in more deal making on top of what the Senate has already done, which is why the Senate had to take over anyway because the GOP led Congress JUST DOESN'T WANT TO, NOR IS TRYING TO GET IT..

I am firmly convinced the GOP want to stretch this thing INTO default because they (and their strategic thinking has been flawed from the beginning) THINK it will allow them some kind of unbalanced leverage.

The GOP Congress has given it's self a self inflicted wound and backed it's self into the corner. As a result it is a very dangerous animal right now.
In Response

by: Chris Green from: Indianapolis
October 16, 2013 7:18 AM
Hey Chas, the Senate is part of Congress. Remember the United States has a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. If you belong to either house you are a congressman, but Senators like to be identified as such. My point is if you don't understand the most basic aspects of government how do you manage to come up with an informed opinion? And why should we listen?
In Response

by: Patrick McIntyre from: Winnetka
October 15, 2013 7:04 PM
Give me on valid reason why congress should get healthcare subsidies and not I ???

by: bala from: Silver Spring, MD
October 15, 2013 10:29 AM
If they are getting paid for sitting at home, why not allow them to work and pay them later probably with some interest on their pay. STUPID THEORY. WHY IS SOMEONE getting paid for sitting at home. Are we fools working every day? This is why you need to find a job with the government.
In Response

by: Digusted from: usa
October 15, 2013 6:35 PM
Please folk's we all need to stop blaming each other working or not working. We need for the politican's to work together like adults for the good of our Country and stop acting like children and get this passed. It is appearing more and more to me that politican's are just out for the money of it and the heck with America and the American people. After all, the work out room remained open for them and all they had to sacrifice was there own towels. I hope this is bring all the American people together at election time and vote each and everyone of them OUT and get new to at least send them all a message. We are tired of it.....
In Response

by: Kat
October 15, 2013 12:58 PM
You are the fool-we are NOT getting paid. There MIGHT be retro pay at some point in the future months down the road but that is NOT a given and bill collectors are waiting right NOW for their money. I just lost a paycheck and am on my way to losing a second one. I tried to apply for unemployment but with the gov. shut down it has been two weeks and they STILL do not have confirmation from the government that I am employed through them (despite me showing them my furlough notice and wage form-and FYI if I DID get any and got retro pay I must pay it back so people complaining about us getting paid twice-get a clue).

I started this job less than a year ago after over a decade in school getting several advanced degrees. A cross country move and student loan debt and no savings to speak of and now no paycheck. I chose this job over academia not for the pay or prestige (I got knocked down with both taking this job) but because I saw potential in what I could do to make a difference. You probably have no idea what people who work for the government even do.
In Response

by: Joe from: northeast
October 15, 2013 12:56 PM
They aren't getting paid for sitting at home they aren't getting paid at all....and some still have to do their jobs for no pay some of which are dangerous
In Response

by: Sic from: Daytona Beach, FL
October 15, 2013 12:44 PM
they are on furlough... That means they are not getting paid....

by: Anonymous
October 14, 2013 5:20 PM
How dare republicans try to stop further spending. Dont they know how many leeches depend on the government?
In Response

by: Earl from: Daytona Beach, FL
October 15, 2013 12:52 PM
I think the bigger concern should be what will happen to middle class america if we default. Your way of life will be turned upside down and now YOU will be the leech, because unemployment will skyrocket, investors will pull their treasury bonds, and we will be in a depression for 10 to 20 years... so stop whining about leechers, and whine about the republicans making poor choices that will do far more damage than Obama care.
In Response

by: reaper from: usa
October 15, 2013 12:22 PM
you do know disabled veterans depend on the govt without federal funding alot of veterans will have nothing, do.t get why people are so quick to judge others misgortunes
In Response

by: James Branning
October 15, 2013 1:20 AM
Oh now, they are not leeches, they are needy and we all know how well Big Brother can help us and take cure all of our ill's

by: chas holman from: USA
October 14, 2013 12:52 PM
I'll certainly never forgive the Republicans for manufacturing this debacle just when the recovery was really starting to show real results.

Some 'patriots' the GOP turned out to be.
In Response

by: Conway from: Tennessee
October 15, 2013 2:22 PM
What real recovery? You mean the 85 Billion the Fed injects into the market every month? Or are you talking about the 40 cents on every dollar the US has to borrow just to make ends meet i.e. raising the debt ceiling every 9 months?? Is that what you call recovery?? These are tactics of inflation which will only hurt the US in the future. 50 million on food stamps is not a recovery; up from last year by 7.5 million. Doesn't sound like a recovery ever started, much less debunked by the GOP. Its not as simple as REP/DEMs fault.
In Response

by: siconic from: Daytona Beach, FL
October 15, 2013 12:58 PM
This really isn't both sides... Its mostly republicans. they want their benefits paid by the government, but the average Joe!?!? No way, let him struggle, he isn't at my level so he shouldn't have my level of benefits. That about sums it up. Rich pay more taxes! Never... its all about greed. Oust the lobbyists, vote in someone who was recently middle class, limit corporate contributions, and you will see a change in status quo...
In Response

by: Anonymous
October 14, 2013 2:45 PM
Blame both sides, this is not just the Republicans, it's also the Democrats and our President. Lets lay the blame where all is due and that's everywhere. Our whole Government is failing us right now, so you really need to wake up and see that!!!!

by: John Kennedy from: American in Tokyo
October 14, 2013 12:36 PM
I have started a government shutdown hall of shame. Each day of the shutdown I induct a nee member. See who the current inductees are at

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