A student-organized protest calling for the firing of Attorney General Eric Holder over Operation "Fast and Furious" was reportedly shut down on Monday after the U.S. Secret Service apparently discovered a "suspicious package" left near the White House.
Campusreform.org reports that Secret Service agents "forced" roughly 50 student-activists to vacate the area during their protest:
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.
Secret Service agents told Campus Reform later on Monday that an "unattended package" had been found and they followed "standard operating procedure."
However, employees at the White House and the nearby Treasury building were not forced to evacuate the area and were allowed to stay put as protesters were shut out, according to Campus Reform.
FoxNews.com reports the "suspicious package" turned out to be a false alarm and belonged to a tourist who had set a backpack down to take a picture. Protesters were cleared out roughly 30 minutes after the rally began.
"It’s definitely one heck of a coincidence. It seemed like an overreaction," protest organizer and activist Oliver Darcy told FoxNews.com. "(Agents) were antsy the whole time we were there. They kept asking a lot of us if we were planning any civil disobedience."
Holder was found in criminal and civil contempt of Congress last week over his failure to provide subpoenaed documents relating to the failed gun-walking operation Fast and Furious, which resulted in the deaths of U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry and roughly 200 Mexican citizens.
"We want justice for the victims and families affected by this scandal. We are protesting to let Barack Obama and AG Holder know that the truth must prevail," Darcy said in a press release on Friday. "They should fully disclose all documents related to the case in order to bring closure to a dark moment in our country’s history. Anything less is a fraud of justice."
This is a breaking story and updates will be added.