We’ve made the point here before that wearing clown suits to a protest tends to undermine the legitimacy of a cause. The one exception to this informal rule would be if clown suits were somehow central to the cause. But how often does that even come up? Well, get ready to be surprised because it just did. According to the Associated Press:
About 100 professional clowns who make money by performing on public buses marched through the Salvadoran capital Thursday to protest the killing of a passenger by two impostor clowns.
On Monday, a man was shot five times in the face and stomach when he declined to give money to two assailants dressed as clowns who boarded a public bus. No one has been arrested.
The protesters — wearing oversized bow ties, tiny hats and big yellow pants — marched down San Salvador’s main street in an effort to both entertain and educate passersby. Several held signs insisting that real clowns are not criminals.
“We are protesting so that people know we are not killers,” said professional clown Ana Noelia Ramirez. “The people who did this are not clowns. They unfortunately used our costume and our makeup to commit a monstrous act.”
Clown-union leader Carlos Vasquez says he plans to issue IDs to all real clowns and urge police to detain those who do not have them.
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Waging Nonviolence is a leading publication on social movements around the world, and we’re looking to expand our coverage and work with new writers.