On the 8th of August, antiwar and antinuclear activists walked from a
nearby church to the White House for a candlelight vigil on the 71st
anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.Minutes before the
procession left the church, Secret Service shut down Penn Ave in front
of the White House. Seconds after the end of the two minutes of silence
at the exact moment of the bombing anniversary and while one of the
Hibakuash (nuclear survivors) was speaking, they reopened the street.
For the past year, overly “convenient” closures of Penn Ave when
protesters are expected has been extremely common. This began with the
closure aimed at preventing Christian theocrats from burning a Koran in
front of the White House in December 2015 but has been increasingly
common at other protests considered politically embarassing ever since.
On August 8th, no motorcades arrived nor departed during this closure
and there was no evidence of police searching any suspicious package
etc. Shortly after the closure began two cyclists tried to sprint for
the far end of Penn Ave but were cut off by police and didn’t make it.
Cops acted like they were going to search them or worse but let them go
shortly after a camera was pointed at them.