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 The Protest Protest: an introduction

What was the Protest Protest?

That depends on who you ask. Way back in 2003 a group of people in Portland, Oregon got fed up with our weekly anti-whatever protest and launched a protest against protesting. I have the dubious honor of being it's instigator and co-creator.


The Protest Protest was really a protest about nothing. Protesting has gotten to the point where it was just another form of entertainment, so instead of making pretenses we just protested for the sake of protesting. We carried signs that didn't mean anything in particular (such as "I'm here against my will, send help") or many things at once (like "Save the gay Palestinian trees to stop the war for Jesus"), made up nonsensical rally cries and had a great time doing it.

We were, to quote my coconspirator Ed "a funhouse mirror" of the "real" protest. We weren't necessarily pro or anti anything, we just felt that protesters tend to take themselves far too seriously. If you really want to make a difference: vote, start a petition, run for office, start a political group, start a political party, join a political campaign, volunteer, donate, learn espionage, do investigative journalism, lead an armed rebellion, start a militia, make soap, get educated, do something, do anything other than screaming in the air about how much you hate everything and not doing anything to change it and most importantly get a sense of humor.

Remember there are no stupid causes, only stupid people. We didn't want to make fun of anybody's cause, in fact we were politically neutral, liberal or conservative rest assured we probably found your position equally stupid. Of the event's co founders one is a right-leaning pro-war ex-marine and the other is a left-leaning anti-war anarchist. It wasn't about specific politics, it was about protesting protesting itself.

"This is great, your signs mean nothing and they bring out the very worst in people."

The Protest Protest ran very successfully for almost half a year. We had a great time, but like the protest we were protesting, we didn't change anything. At least in our case, that was never the point. Still don't know what the Protest Protest was about? As soon as I do I'll let you know, till then, you might want to read A Protest Protest Retrospective, watch the Protest Protest trailer or check out the other links of archival material. I add to these pages from time to time, to keep an eye on the rss feed

One concrete thing did come out of the Protest Protest and that was this website. I started this site as a way of putting information about the Protest on-line. I hacked the site design by hand in about half an hour and have been claiming ever since it looks like crap because it's temporary.
Comments (30) | Posted by Andrew on 2007-12-05 11:37:33

 Hey Protest protest guy Sounds like you are set for sleeping in Portland, but if you need a place we can enjoy your humor and general vibe. We are family of 3, mom, dad, 16yr old, with a dog basic nice people with some good private space for a guest, own bath. In SE on 46th between Hawthorne and Division I love that you are enjoying life and sharing it;-)  
by maya | posted on 2010-05-28 02:55:12

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