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Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Conservative Activists Storm World War II Memorial

Sarah Palin and other Tea Party favorites joined military veterans at the World War II Memorial.
Jacob Fenston
Sarah Palin and other Tea Party favorites joined military veterans at the World War II Memorial.

Hundreds of conservative activists and military veterans broke down barricades at the World War II Memorial this morning, protesting the ongoing government shutdown.

Veterans have been engaging in civil disobedience since the beginning of the shutdown, crossing barricades the National Park Service put up to block the memorials.

It's become a cause célèbre among conservatives, including one of the architects of the strategy that led to the shutdown: Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cruz joined at the World War II Memorial by other Tea Party favorites, including former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Cruz blames President Obama for keeping memorials closed. "Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?" Cruz said to the crowd.

Palin agreed with Cruz that Democrats and Obama were using the shutdown as a political game. "You look around, 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?"

"It's sickening, really," said Bob Cory, who served in the Navy during World War II. "I think Obama's going over the top. Shutting down memorials like this. There's no reason to have a guard here, we're not here to do harm."

Jay Devereaux came down to Washington from Pennsylvania last week, after he heard reports that military veterans were being turned away from visiting war memorials.

"Our veterans fight for our freedoms every day," he said.

He headed for the National Mall with bolt cutters. He said Park Police didn't stop him when he went to remove barricades, but: "I'd be five minutes down the road, and they'd put them back, and I just came back and took them away again."

Park Police did not attempt to remove protestors, some of whom later took their flags and bullhorns to demonstrate in front of the White House.

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