Standing among a sea of protesters downtown, about a dozen ladies all decked out in pink clothing shouted and held signs that said “Tax The Poor” — all in the name of the complete opposite.
A women-led peace and demilitarization group that goes by the name Code Pink donned colorful hats and paraded around a costumed Donald Trump throwing fake dollar bills in the air in a demonstration Monday afternoon.
The women chanted lines like “Close public schools!” or “More money in politics!” Bringing the sarcastic and humor approach to protesting, Toni Rozsahegyi said, she hoped that the group will get its message out in a unique but effective method.
“I think that too many people get out there and scream, and they’re angry,” Rozsahegyi said. “We’re just trying to put the issues out there, and we feel that this light-hearted sort of comical way really gets our message across without being too offensive.”
This isn’t Rozsahegyi’s full-time job. She said she took a week off from being a health care specialist and a mother to come to the Republican National Convention and stand with the Pink ladies as they swept the sweat off the brow of a fake Donald Trump with fake money.
Rozsahegyi has been involved with Code Pink for about five years. She joined when she saw the group on CNN protesting the Senate Arms Services Committee.
“I just really loved what those women were doing and thought it was fabulous,” Rozsahegyi said. “We all are rushing through life so quickly, paying our bills, taking care of our kids, that we’re not as focused on what is going on in Washington and then they slip things into legislation that we’re not even aware of.”
Members said they had expected 50 of their group to protest at the Republican National Convention, but just a dozen have shown up so far. Pink member Chelsea Byers said that Ohio’s open-carry firearms law had a lot to do with that.
“I think it’s scary times, people are rightfully terrified and we’ve heard a lot of people not wanting to come out and join us in protest,” Byers said.
Byers, 26, said she was appreciative of the Cleveland Police Union urging the suspension of the open-carry laws during the Republican National Convention. She noted the “hypocrisy” in the banning oranges, tennis balls and water bottles in the Quicken Loans Arena.
Rozsahegyi said that although the group’s goal is to not offend anyone, they have received criticism from people on social media.
Waiss David Aramesh is a student journalist at Penn State University.