A planned "day of rage" rally Thursday night outside the White House in response to the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen in Missouri was limited to a few dozen protesters calling for the arrest of the police officer who shot him.
The rally, staged by the group Anonymous, stood in stark contrast to the violent episodes over the past two weeks in Ferguson, Mo., where racially fueled unrest led to dozens of arrests and prompted a visit from Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderEllison holds edge in DNC race survey Democrats face fierce urgency of 2018 Arianna Huffington meets with Uber CEO in wake of harassment claims MORE.
With the tension apparently subsiding in Ferguson, less than a dozen protesters were on hand for the scheduled start of the protest in front of the White House, where members of the Code Pink social movement overshadowed the rally with a hula “hoops not bombs” demonstration of their own.
As of 7 p.m., there was roughly the same number of police vehicles on hand as there were Ferguson protesters. Over the next hour, the crowd grew to roughly 40 protesters, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Among them was Washington, D.C., resident Harold Hunter, who suggested a light but steady rain might have kept other protesters away and lauded those who showed up.
“This turnout is really a good turnout,” Hunter said, before noting that protesters had turned out in larger numbers at another rally earlier in the week at Meridian Hill Park, a few miles away.
Other protesters said word had spread that the rally had been canceled.
David Matthew DeLeon, a 31-year-old teacher from Texas, pushed back against what he called a media “narrative” that the protest had fizzled.
Plus, he joked, raising a sign he had made, “I got this laminated.”
The planned “Nationwide Day of Rage” was among dozens around the nation organized by the group Anonymous, which is demanding the “immediate arrest and prosecution” of Officer Darren Wilson.
Wilson has been identified as the officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, touching off weeks of violent protests in the streets of Ferguson, Mo.
“We call upon the citizens of the United States to collectively gather in support for those who are suffering in Ferguson,” a voice claiming to represent the group said in a video posted to YouTube. “We must indeed all hang together as one nation or most assuredly we will all hang separately.”
As of 8 p.m., some of the police vehicles on hand could be seen driving away.
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