By Luke Vargas
Over two dozen college-age protesters gathered this morning outside the White House to protest the Obama administration’s handling of the Fast and Furious “gun walking” investigation that has embroiled Attorney General Eric Holder.
The protest involved a variety of handmade signs featuring such messages as “AG doesn’t mean Above Government” and “Guns don’t kill people, Holder does,” many featuring the Twitter hashtag #FireHolder, which has taken off in popularity in recent weeks.
Timothy Dionisopoulos, 23, co-created a Facebook event last week promoting the rally, and the page has quickly turned into a gathering place for those wishing to share articles and opinions about the Justice Department controversy. The event’s description cites the Fast and Furious probe as “one of the biggest government scandals in recent history,” and goes on to state that “the blood of border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and many others, are on the hands of President Obama and AG Holder.”
Asked to comment on steps taken by the Attorney General in response to document requests by the House Judiciary Committee, Dionisopoulos stressed that the decision to hand over internal DoJ emails should have been an easy one. “Release the information and all this goes away,” he said, referencing the circling protestors by the White House’s North Lawn.
With less than an hour remaining in the protest, a bag left near the White House fence prompted the closure of the White House lawn and areas of Lafayette Square by security personnel, as well as the relocation of the protest. Within minutes, numerous claims of conspiracy began circulating online, with a blog on CampusReform.org — a site run by the conservative Leadership Institute and which employs both of the event’s co-organizers – quick to point the finger at the White House for meddling with the protest, quoting an activist who alleged that Secret Service agents had “seemed hostile” and “anxious for us to leave the area.”
Reached for comment, a spokesman for the United States Secret Service confirmed that a package had been found in the area, and that the temporary closure of parts of Lafayette Square was “standard procedure” carried out to ensure the safety of officers and the public.