Activists March For Art And The Marginalized On Flag Day

Jun 16, 2017

A group of about 30 activists marched through downtown Fort Myers on Flag Day Wednesday. Activists around the country held similar marches. Their message: art matters and so do the lives of the marginalized. 

The group is as pro-art and pro-LGBTQ and pro-minority as much as they are anti-Donald Trump. 

However, Tamara Paquette, an actress and local activist, did send love to the president on his birthday. 

"With the idea that if we send him good positive energies, maybe it's gonna touch that black charcoal dead heart of his," she said. 

The people wore shirts that read "Black Lives Matter" and held pride flags. They aired qualms about the current administration and tried to come up with ways to solve them. 

Art, hope, love, persistence and resistance were frequently brought up as solutions. 

The group marched under restaurant awnings, chanting "Make art not war" and "This is what democracy looks like". Most patrons just stared. A few joined in the chanting. A car honked. 

Fleener Cophy participated. She held a pride flag. 

"I'm here because I want to celebrate art," she said. "And we want to show that we're still here and we're not going away anytime soon." 

Nathaly Zohlandt, who emigrated from the Netherlands said language is an art and she speaks five of them. 

"But in English, I'd say 'This is a march against a fascist'," she said. 

The group gathered in a little town square with a fountain in the center where it was met with a solitary detractor. 

"Build a wall," he shouted with a smile. "Build a wall." 

He would not do an interview. 

The march ended with a long-haired man in a tie dye shirt, playing guitar, singing an anti-Trump tune into the sunset. 

"Not only is Trump racist, but he's sexist, fascist and specious," he sang.