Welcome to RateMyProtest™, a new feature on Minnexplore!
In 2017, I will be rating each local protest I attend on a scale ranging from one to five stars. Ranking factors will be inconsistent, unquantifiable and based on shameless personal biases. The protests which earn the top three ratings this year will be celebrated in a hastily-written blog post enhanced with trophy clipart and stock photos of marathon finisher medals. With all that on the line, I anticipate that local organizers will fall all over themselves to prove their resistance events are deserving of a RateMyProtest™ Protest of the Year title. You can look forward to hot competition and an even hotter betting pool!
Let’s start off the year with a strong contender: the Anti-War Committee’s Speak Out Against the Muslim Ban protest. Occurring on January 31st, 2017 and lasting from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm, this high-energy event began in front of the Federal Courthouse with a selection of meritorious speakers and ended with a march through the city’s main thoroughfares.
Below, find my ranking factors with notes, listed in order from most important to least important.
Let the Rating Begin
Presence of Food: I saw no food at this protest, not so much as a stick of gum or an edible covertly hidden in a protester’s dreadlocks. This was disappointing. Marching is weary work, emotionally and physically draining, and honestly, how much could handing out, say, Nature Valley granola bars to 5,000 people really cost? There are government subsidies to pay for that.
Quality of Protest Sign Creativity and Engineering: In general, I was unimpressed by the signs’ content. Much of it consisted of variations on humorous protest slogans I had already seen on Tumblr. How are we supposed to win over angry drivers as we stream endlessly around their idling vehicles if we cannot shake poster boards emblazoned with pithy, witty epigrams against their car windows as we pass?
I was, on the other hand, impressed by the quality construction of the signs I saw. Many of them appeared to be made of high-strength cardboard, reinforced with masking tape in critical areas and optimized with text on both sides for high-efficiency, bi-directional opinion conveyance. In fact, I could not find fault with any of the hand-made posters I saw. However, the mass-produced poster I was given upon arrival bent shamefully in the winter wind as we marched and was impossible to hold up with one hand. But what can you expect from a organizing group of sheep-minded Millennials who know how to do nothing save scroll through Instagram and orchestrate 5,000-person protests?
Crowd Loudness: This was very satisfactory. We roared like the ocean itself as we passed through the city, shouting our convictions in unison. Only when a fire engine wailed its way up the street behind us did we fall silent, hurrying up onto the sidewalks and waiting silently for it to pass on its way to whatever emergency had called it into action. I personally feel we made it TOO easy for that fire engine to get through. It would have been better if we had torn the driver from his cab and divided his limbs as trophies among us, as liberal protesters traditionally do during the frenzied climax of their resistance events.
Protest Timing: Very inconvenient indeed. I had to go to the protest directly from my full-time job, as did some of the acquaintances I met there. Didn’t the organizers know that it is impossible to protest and be a productive citizen on the same day? They don’t understand the laziness and entitlement so prevalent among people who attend protests that aren’t the March for Life.
Number of People Making Jokes Online about Snowplowing through the Protesters: There never are enough. We can always have more of these. How else will we know our conservative brothers and sisters value us as people even though they disagree with our politics?
My Final Rating
My final rating for the Speak Out Against Muslim Ban protest is 3.5 out of 5 stars. While it was clear the Anti-War Committee put in a valiant effort, I like a protest with some good old-fashioned rioting and at least a few torched cars. The Speak Out protest was just a little too peaceful, and I hope we can count on the Anti-War Committee to step it up at future events. Perhaps we can look to the example of our great leader, President Trump (may he live forever), and stir up some joyous mayhem by encouraging the more belligerent of our members to knock the crap out of people who disagree with them.
Forever yours in blood and violence, darlings,
Minnexplore, Minnesota’s Only Licensed Protest Review Professional