FREEDOM OF SPEECH TOLD TO
FUCK OFF AT PROTEST
But then, my kinder gentler side kicked in and I took a deep breath. He's angry. Hurting. Pushed to the edge by bureaucracy and financial ruin maybe. Or something. Here's how the conversation went (sort of):
Him: Who are you working for?
Me: I'm an independent.
Him: Are you the one making negative comments about the protests online?
I begin to think very carefully before I respond.
Me: Nope. Not me.
The conversation is a little vague at this point. I'm not worried. I'm pretty sure I can take him. But suffice it to say, he's clearly angry that someone (NOT me, I assure him) is making very negative comments about the protests, and protesters, online. I assure him again that I'm pretty sure it's not me. Depends what he means by "negative comments" I guess.
The freedom of speech side of my brain kicks in.
Me: Although...even if it was me, what would you do?
Him: I'd tell you to FUCK OFF.
He shouted that and several people are now watching the exchange.
He's still not convinced I'm not the one he's seeking. I didn't notice, but I wonder if he had asked the same of any of the others there carrying a camera.
Me: Are you kidding?
Him (paraphrased): Well, you can't come to these things and take photos and then make negative comments about us.
Again, are you kidding me? Seriously? You think that?
If anything is inclined to MAKE me make negative comments, it's attitudes and exchanges like this.
I remind him that we are in a public place and pretty much anyone can say pretty much anything they like. He mumbles something and wanders off. Bernard and Gudrun are smirking.
You get that from time to time when you carry a camera bigger than a Fuji Finepix. But I understand people are on the edge. People are stressed. I feel sad that only a couple of hundred people are present at this protest march, and most of the others. In a city of 400K the movement needs many many more people shouting on the street corners. As someone pointed out on another thread, politicians will not listen to 200 people.
That's about the most negative thing I have ever said about the protests. Out of respect for the principle of the movement, I'm not going to post photos of the man who confronted me. Although I could if I wanted to.