The Secret Service on Monday shutdown a student-protest calling for the firing of Attorney General Eric Holder saying they were acting on concerns over a 'a suspicious package' apparently left by a tourist on White House grounds.
Secret Service officials forced the approximately 50 student-activists, who organized the event over social media, to leave the area after the protest had attracted significant attention from members of the White House press corps. and major news outlets.
Maurice Lewis, a student at the University of California, Merced, who marched in the event told Campus Reform that the Secret Service had seemed on edge well before the "suspicious package" was discovered.
"Several agents seemed hostile to our march and seemed anxious for us to leave the area," said Lewis. "The discovery of the 'unidentified package' came just as the protest began to gain traction."
The Secret Service reopened the the portion of Pennsylvania Ave. that borders the White House shortly after protesters, who had been waiting nearby on 15th street for nearly half an hour, had dispersed. Agents did not communicate with organizers during that time.
Neither the White House nor the nearby Treasury building were shutdown. Employees of both building and members of the White House media were allowed to traverse the evacuated zone while protesters were kept out.
A secret Service spokesman told Campus Reform later on Monday that agents had discovered a "unattended package" and had followed "standard operating procedure and "cleared it."
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