Far-right activists holding a rally in San Francisco on Saturday will be met with a minefield of dog poo in a counter-protest of “civil disobedience” orchestrated by some very obliging pooches.
While Patriot Prayer ‘Freedom Rally’ activists will be offered flowers to wear in their hair by peace activists, they will also be met by an installation of excrement organised by a local artist.
Tuffy Tuffington has enlisted the help of his two Patterdale terriers and recruited hundreds of other dogs to carpet Crissy Field - where the group have a permit to gather - with crap.
“I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,” Tuffington told the Guardian.
“It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn’t have to engage with them face to face.”
The 45-year-old started a Facebook Page to promote the event and as of Friday morning 995 people had said they were going, while over 5,000 said they were interested in attending. Comments on the page suggest some dog owners are stockpiling dog turds for the event.
“I got 4 dogs!!!” one person posted. “Would love for these racists to literally eat shit!”
The Facebook Page reads: “Leave a gift for our Alt-Right friends. Take your dog to Crissy Field and let them do their business and be sure not to clean it up!
“Watch out for landmines, friends!
“We can get together Sunday and clean up the mess and hug each other!”
Elected officials had pressured the National Park Service to deny Patriot Prayer a permit fearing a repeat of the violence sparked by their events in the Pacific north-west and in the wake of Charlottesville. The police department are said to be planning to deploy every available officer.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee called the planned event “shameful” and accused the group of trying to “incite violence” with their so-called “free speech” demonstration that thousands are expected to attend.
Joey Gibson, the leader of Patriot Prayer, has denounced white supremacists in the lead-up to Saturday’s event, imploring them to not “show up” because “what they’re doing is using race to further their own agendas”.
The ardent Trump supporter has said the San Francisco rally is about unity, peace and patriotism and, according to a report in The Oregonian, hopes it appeals to individuals with more moderate political leanings than those championed by the right- and left-leaning activists.