Can you imagine the media outrage if this was Tea Party-related?
WASHINGTON — The Secret Service was responding Tuesday night to an escalating protest that may have involved a smoke bomb being thrown over the White House fence.
An estimated 1,000 protesters have gathered. No arrests have been made, but authorities are on alert.
The tense scene outside the White House follows an earlier protest on the West Lawn of the Capitol, in which several hundred protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement decried the influence of corporate money in politics and voice myriad other grievances.
Organizers had touted the rally, known as Occupy Congress, as the largest national gathering of Occupy protesters to date and secured a permit that would have allowed up to 10,000 people to participate. By mid-afternoon, the protest appeared to have fallen far short of those goals.
Still, participants said they were optimistic about the strength of the Occupy movement, which began in September when protesters pitched tents in a lower Manhattan park. The movement has since spread to dozens of cities, including Washington. While many cities have moved to evict the protesters, the National Park Service has allowed encampments to remain in two public squares near the White House.