The right to free expression and the right to protest are both cornerstones of a democratic country.
But apparently, so is the right to seek attention.
Just ask the first “protester” to show up in front of the cameras Tuesday morning in front of Vancouver’s new Trump Tower.
“I wanna support the people of the world,” the young man told reporters with cameras and audio recorders who frantically gathered around him.
“I just hope there’s equality in the world for everybody and the future is OK and, I have this sign that says, ‘Is it 2020 yet?’ So, yeah. That’s funny.
“So, yeah. I just wanna like support the people of the world – and with him banning the travel ban and all that stuff…
“I just feel that is, uh, very, horrible,” he says with a huge grin.
I don’t know about you but that protester sounds furious.
And well-informed to boot.
The media throng then spotted two more protesters arriving. Perhaps they would better reflect the gut-wrenching fury that Vancouver is wrestling with due to the arrival of the Trump brand?
Adorned in pink toques, the two women waved and smiled to the cameras, proudly showing off their bright pink sign that read, “DUMP TRUMP.”
One photo that circulated on Twitter showed the pair playfully posing for the cameras. You can almost imagine one woman asking reporters, “hey, what time will this be airing so I can PVR it?”
Yep. The anger was palpable.
Then there was the young man with blue and yellow hair who wouldn’t give the media his full name – always a good sign – and the “protesting” father who made his toddler son hold a toddler-sized sign that read, “My daddy made me come here too.”
— Emily Lazatin (@EmilyLazatin980) February 28, 2017
Then there was the man sporting a cheap suit and blonde wig – he was supposed to look like Trump, you see. He smiled and gestured as he made his point to reporters, all the while adjusting his wig for the sea of flesh and cameras.
Then, perhaps looking for more B-roll – there was a 10:1 ratio of journalists to protesters – reporters focused their cameras on the sidewalks.
Using adorable chalk of all different colours – perhaps to represent every colour of the rainbow – protesters starting writing on the sidewalks in front of Trump Tower.
“LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE,” read one all-caps message scribbled in green chalk.
Hmm. Really makes you think.
— John Thome (@jmtnetstar) March 1, 2017
Am I being sarcastic? Of course.
Am I being too snarky? Perhaps.
But let’s be honest here. The whole scenario was ridiculous.
Of the Lower Mainland’s 2,832,000 people, 100 (at the most) showed up to “protest.”
That’s 0.003531073 per cent.
— Jordan Armstrong (@jarmstrongbc) February 28, 2017
Yet, headlines around the world, like this one from the Guardian, screamed, “Vancouver up in arms as Trump family launches high-rise tower.”
It’s easy to see how Trump and his supporters have grown to distrust the media.
And it makes me mad – bigly.
So, so, so mad.
In fact, it makes me so mad, I might, like, grab some green chalk and, like, write on the sidewalk or stuff like that.
Beau Simpson is the editor of the Now. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org