WASHINGTON — Protestors gathered in front of the White House to protest the deadly Justice Department Operation Fast and Furious and United States Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday morning.
The group of about 40 young people showed up in the 90 degree Washington heat with signs that criticized and mocked Holder, the Justice Department and the Obama administration. A few demonstrators were carrying American flags and one had a Gadsden, “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, but most carried home-made signs.
The protestors called for Holder, who was held in contempt by Congress last week for failing to release tens of thousands of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, to resign from office.
One sign said, “Holder lied, Terry died” and another said “Watergate didn’t have a body count.” These signs were referring to Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed by drug cartel members carrying guns that were allowed to cross the border into Mexico during Operation Fast and Furious — as well as the untold number of Mexicans who have died because of the guns that were allowed to walk.
Christine Rouselle, who is a student at Providence College in Rhode Island and the news editor of her school’s paper, came to protest because she thought that the families of the victims deserved justice.
“I’m absolutely furious about how Operation Fast and Furious was handled by the government and I want justice for Brian Terry,” Christine said.
Christine was typical of most of the protestors that showed up, in that she was college aged and learned about the event through social media. Christine said that she heard about the protest through a Facebook event, made a sign the night before and then just showed up at the scheduled time.
The group also tried to bring attention to the protest by Tweeting with the hashtag “#fireholder”.
“In 2008 we heard that this was going to be the most transparent administration of all time and we have executive privilege, the withholding of documents and this isn’t transparency, this is a brick wall,” Christine said.
The creators of the Facebook event, Oliver Darcy and Tim Dionisopoulos, came to the protest and helped organize those who decided to show up. The group formed a circle and demonstrated for about thirty minutes before an unattended backpack was discovered by guards in front of the White house.
Although the backpack was not claimed by anyone in the protest group, the guards and Secret Service quickly forced all of the demonstrators out. After waiting for about twenty minutes, Dionisopoulos told the group that they should go ahead and leave.