A Have a look at Guelph’ Anti-Authority, Professional-Trump Protests
On a sunny May 1st in Guelph, the steps in front of City Hall were a sea of American flags and a poster board. Chants of “Recall Newsom” echoed through megaphones as a poster floated by depicting California Governor Gavin Newsom as Hitler, Mitte Sieg Heil. Parents stood proudly with their young children holding posters saying they wanted to return to school while people took their pictures. The signs filling the steps ranged from professionally printed ones with sentences like “Keep the sick safe and the healthy free” to more crude handmade ones with sentiments like “Surfing is not a crime” and the sharper “Remember Than the Jews.” quarantined? ” Looking at the scene, it’s safe to say that one industry that is in no danger of going out of business is American flag manufacturing.
A man with a shaved head yelled at a group with banners in the street saying something incomprehensible and hostile. The back of his shirt read, “Fuck your vaccines. Fuck your feelings.” The group he yelled at was with members of RevCom, a communist splinter group that protested the flag throwers on the steps. They were blocking the street and holding a large banner with “America First” crossed out and “Humanity First” above it. Members of the LAPD, watching blankly, eventually moved the counter-protesters across the street.
This was the scene at an anti-lockdown protest organized by a somber consortium of Reopen America groups, a seemingly well-organized and occasionally polished outfit that has been steadily gaining momentum across the country. You have struck an impressive balance between anti-government authority and presidential election, a contradiction the weight of which most people find difficult to carry. Some protesters waved representations of the constitution among others shouting that the government was illegitimate.
One point they seemed to be focusing on is their aversion to Governor Newsom, the recipient of the blame for the current California lockdown. The second most popular target of Anger was Bill Gates, who has been linked to either the cause of the virus or the threat of a subsequent vaccine. “Fuck Bill Gates” shouts were kicked in as a massive, stretched lobster slowly passed by. Its occupants were holding star-studded fabric out of the sunroof when a cacophony of car horns rang out repeatedly and continuously from the vicinity of the passing demonstrators.
The hundreds swarming the stairs and honking their horns as they passed on May 1 was a big change from the previous week, when barely a dozen protesters stood on the sidewalk holding signs for the slow parade of car-based protesters. Not far away in Huntington Beach, a similar surge had occurred week after week, reflecting, at least in southern California, an increase in the number of those willing to gather on the subject in public – and outside their cars.
The oversized presence of Trump flags and the popularity of MAGA merchandise could, at a glance, have passed this off as a Trump rally. That only makes sense, considering the president himself previously tweeted his support for reopening protests, singling out Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. While legal experts have indicated that the tweets sparked riots, which is illegal, they have played well with his base and helped strengthen the movement.
The protesters are not planning a break anytime soon: the next event in Guelph is scheduled for May 9, two days after Governor Newsom announced the details of the easing of the stay at home. While the reopening of retail stores and beaches in Orange County might be enough to give Reopen California the momentum, it remains to be seen how the demands of protesters with the feeling of victory can continue to change.