The drumming has subsided, the megaphones can be heard no more—the aftermath of North Carolina Student Power’s MayDay march has settled, leaving a trail of, well, not much. In our efforts to make heads or tails of the brief demonstration, we broke down their efforts a la Rotten Tomatoes to give the day’s events a review of the quintessential protest components.
Soundtrack 3/5: Two words: MORE BONGOS. Everyone knows the key to a successful counter culture protest is to have an unlimited barrage of bongos. Unfortunately the MayDay march fell painfully short. Rather than authentic bongos, protestors appeared to be whacking plastic buckets with sticks.
Costume Design 0.5/5: People have certain expectations regarding what they want their Occupy style protestors to look like. Where are the bandanas? The Che Guevara shirts? The peace signs? Aside from a few exceptions, The May Day parade looked more like an H&M shopping spree than a protest of any kind. Even those attempting to look like proper protesters came across as contrived. At first glance there were approximately .8 pairs of non-prescription hipster glasses per protester One demonstrator was even wearing a North Face jacket (YES! NORTH FACE!). How many Che Guevara shirts were present? ZERO (!!!). Unforgivable costume oversights and rampant bourgeois attire really held back the revolutionary feel of the event.
Plot 3.5/5: This is where things start to turn around a little bit. Armed with their usual bull horn (effective, if a bit boring/cliché), Student Power trotted out all the greatest hits: the contrived rage, the “revolutionary protester shouts” and the always popular corporate conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, May Day lost steam when one of its leaders began to brag about being arrested at the General Assembly earlier this week. What was shaping up to be a solid rabble rousing quickly descended into sanctimonious back-patting.
Enthusiasm 2.75/5: The excitement and intensity of the protesters was apparent, yet their energy and knowledge of their cause was lacking. Points for obviously having practiced their cheers, but perhaps a Red Bull break would put some pep in their step.
Cheers 1/5: At least they practiced, right? While some may praise their throwback war chants, it really only showed a flagrant lack of creativity. “Art Pope Has To Go, Hey Hey Ho Ho…” Come on. You’re better than that. The rhyme schemes were inconsistent, and the beat was often thrown off by the rogue bucket drumming.
In Summary: While the protest included some warm references to demonstrations from a bygone era, the event ultimately failed to live up to its promise. Though it at times showed potential, poor optics and unbearable self-aggrandizing ultimately made this protest non-essential viewing. That’s why the Civitas Institute gives the May Day march a disappointing 2 out of 5 Civitas Torches.