A demonstration against government waste and high taxes outside the White House on Wednesday was halted after a suspicious package was thrown over the White House fence.
U.S. Secret Service officers immediately cleared Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest and Lafayette Park just north of the White House shortly after 2 p.m., forcing about 2,000 protesters to the sidewalks north of the park. Journalists at the White House were ordered back inside the press room.
A robot was inspecting the package, which the Associated Press reported appeared to be a box of tea bags.
The rally, part of a coordinated event occurring simultaneously in cities throughout the country, was dubbed the “Tax Day Tea Party.” Demonstrators said they disapproved of government spending since President Obama took office, and argue it will inevitably lead to higher taxes.
Event organizers said they speculated the package was thrown by person or persons not affiliated with the demonstration.