Being an activist seems so draining
, what with all the protests, the signs, the yelling and being so emotionally tied up in your cause
That's why we prefer the approach taken on Saturday by a group who took to the streets of Austin -- and marched to City Hall
-- to demonstrate, um, nothing in particular.
Billed as a "happy protest," the marchers' placards offered up absurdist chants like, "Give me an O! Give me an M! Give me a G! What's that spell? OMG, I'm so happy!" and "What do we want? Cookies! When do we want them? After dinner!"
Keep reading to learn more about the point of the protest, see more pictures and discover how the same group once tried to get lucky at a health-food store.
How So Happy? Acting!
The demonstration was organized by Shannon Quisenberry of Austin Guerrilla Theater
, a group that gathers people from various walks of life for seemingly spontaneous performances in public spaces. "We wanted to make a happy social statement," she told Asylum.
"We talked about protests when we were coming up with the idea," Quisenberry said, "and how, frankly, a part of you feels, when you're holding a sign out there, that it doesn't matter what
The group marched through Austin's recently revitalized 2nd Street District
, past people lunching at Taverna Italian restaurant. Patrons erupted into a spontaneous show of applause for the group, which had previously managed only the obligatory horn honks from drivers obeying the exhortation to "Honk If You're Happy" with an affirmative response.
A History of Happy-Go-Lucky Hipsters
Austin Guerrilla Theater's most recent previous performance occurred at the Whole Foods flagship store
, with a song-and-dance number called "Meet Me at Whole Foods," featuring the iconic hipster event of hitting on a stranger at the health-food chain's salad bar -- but, you know, with singing and dancing.
"Guerrilla theater can answer one of the questions everyone always asks about musicals," Quisenberry explained. "What would it be like if people really could break into song, and everyone around them would know the words and choreography?"
That theme was consistent through the "happy protest." Once the demonstration reached City Hall, a group split from the pack to where a P.A. had been set up, and broke into "I Got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night"
from "Annie Get Your Gun."
Both public protest and guerrilla theater have the potential for some surreal moments, and this event, as part of each, delivered: Within seconds of the group bursting into song, a guided Segway Tour
passed, and the helmet-clad riders began to dance to the music for the duration of the song, while a City Hall security guard sat nearby, smoking a cigarette and ignoring the whole thing.
The Segway Tour group wasn't available for comment, but we think it's possible they were just happy that these protesters were able to spell everything properly