The Million Puppet March Takes Washington, DC
November 5, 2012
Ever since Mitt Romney invoked his name during the first presidential debate, Big Bird has been big news. And with three days to go before the election, 600 kids and adults marched on Washington to protect the giant yellow puppet by protesting the proposed plan to cut funding for Public Broadcasting,
The Million Puppet March, which was founded by animation executive Michael Bellavia and student Chris Mecham, started at Lincoln Park and proceeded to the Capitol. As they filled the streets, participants sang “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?” and the Muppets’ “Mahna Mahna.” And of course, they had some very clever chants:
“EL-MO! We won’t go!”
“Power to the puppets! We can save the Muppets!”
“Whose Street! Sesame Street!”
“What do we want? Cookies! When do we want them? Now!”
People came from far and wide to lend their support—some in costume, others holding puppets. A couple—dressed as Big Bird and Kermit respectively—was married right before the rally. And if all that seems too playful for a political event, Mecham says that the rally was never meant to be taken seriously.
“There are issues that are really are important, and public broadcasting shouldn’t be among them. It shouldn’t even be on the table. I can’t believe that anyone would even question the value of it,” Mecham told The Washington Post. The rally was about “saying it shouldn’t be a partisan issue, so go pay attention to the things that are important. Lighten up and have fun for a minute. It’s been an intense political season.”
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