CLEVELAND – Marni Halasa, a performing artist and figure skater dubbed a “professional protester,” was among a large group of protesters at the GOP convention last week trying to make her voice heard.
“My message is I really feel like someone who has racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic hate speech really shouldn’t be running for president. I feel like somebody who’s running for political office and higher office has to have kind of higher standards, so for me that’s really the main thing,” Halasa, dressed as a fairy, told PJM while holding a “Dump Trump” sign in Public Square in Cleveland.
She mentioned Trump’s comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, the Trump University lawsuit and Melania Trump’s speech that contained excerpts from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech as reasons she opposes Trump.
Halasa referred to her outfit as a “bodacious butterfly freedom fairy costume.”
“I have an organization in New York City called Revolution Is Sexy and we help activists and groups stage protests that get into the media,” Halasa said.
Many onlookers in Public Square were posing for photos with Halasa.
In 2014, The New York Times referred to her as a “professional protester” who had attended more than 100 demonstrations.
“I think if you are a good person and you are a pillar in your community and you have a political vision and you have respect for other people, there’s no reason why any ordinary person cannot run for higher office. There really isn’t,” Halasa said. “I would tell people to get off your couch and run for political office because you are a decent person. I mean, the world needs you.”
Kevin Pontius said he came to Cleveland during the convention with the “main goal” of making “Jesus famous.”
“You know, the Jesus that came and died on a cross for our sins, man, and shed his blood that we would have eternal life, and the protest that we see here, man, of the condemnation and the repent or go to hell, you know, it’s not that it’s not true but, man, it’s just not the love of God,” he said. The Westboro Baptist Church was among the RNC protest groups.
Pontius said he does not represent any political party.
“We are just believing that whoever our president is that God is sovereign over that and Jesus is king,” he said. “Hope is here, man.”
Matt Lamb, holding a “socialism sucks” sign, is a member of Turning Point USA, a nonpartisan group promoting capitalism and limited government.
“We’re expecting a lot of big-government socialist groups or groups that align with them to be here, and we just want to counteract that message, let them know that young people support capitalism and limited government,” he said.