Speech chilled? #FireHolder‬ protest at White House shut down by Secret Service

Student activists gathered outside the White House Monday morning to let President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder know that they intend to hold them accountable for the deadly Fast and Furious operation. But the protesters were quickly cleared out by Secret Service, leading many to wonder if the White House simply didn’t like their message.

Before the #FireHolder‬ protest was shut down, the activists demanded justice for fallen border patrol agent Brian Terry and pressed the White House to release critical documents related to the federal gun-tracking scandal.

Secret Service shut down the protest shortly after it began, citing a suspicious backpack and possibly a bomb threat.

Conservatives weren’t buying the “suspicious package” line.

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.”

And as it turns out, their skepticism was warranted.

The Daily Caller Reports:

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told The Daily Caller later that law enforcement was not trying to chill protesters’ free speech rights. “We had an unattended package and we cleared it for public safety,” he said.

Leary admitted the “unattended package” turned out to be “absolutely nothing.”

“We responded as we always do with our SOP [standard operating procedure],” Leary said.

Leary said the Secret Service would not “characterize” the package but made the decision to close down the area out of “an abundance of caution.”

The activists carried on, moving the protest to another location.

But eventually the protest was shut down again.

Sorry, Secret Service, you might be able to clear Pennsylvania Ave. over a “suspicious package,” but you can’t shut down the #FireHolder movement on Twitter.

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