Few people are happy with either presidential candidate in the two main politcal parties this election. Not surprisingly, this means all types of protests against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have erupted from sea to shining sea. However, the cleverest protest to yet occur involves a bunch of taco trucks united against Donald Trump. In fact, this is a hysterical protest you just have to see to believe.
The protesters were members of a culinary union based in Las Vegas. Their protesting location was the Republican nominee’s own Trump International Las Vegas Hotel. However, instead of carrying a bunch of homemade signs, the protesters used a collection of taco trucks. They maneuvered the taco trucks into the shape of a wall around the hotel.
The Culinary Union formed in December of 2015. Many of the union members are immigrants. Forming the union forced Trump to pay the culinary employees back wages. The protest was orchestrated to send a message to Trump and his supporters that immigrant workers deserve fair pay. The protest also wanted to send a message to Trump that immigrant workers everywhere are aware of his campaign. A political director of the protest, Yvanna Cancela, said, “We’re reminding Mr. Trump that immigrant workers here and across the country will be watching the debate and voting in November.” She was also joined by Ruben Kihuen, the Democratic nominee for Congress hoping to unseat the Republican Cresent Hardy.
Kihuen added his voice to the protest of taco trucks. He stated, “We’re protesting Donald Trump’s hotel here in Vegas, where a majority of workers voted to unionize, and shamefully Trump has failed to sit down at the table with them.” This statement referred to agonizing uncertainty so many of Trump’s workers had to live with during negotiations for better working conditions and better pay. He continued, “As he has demonized Hispanics, women, veterans, and the disabled, we will send him and those who supported him like my opponent Congressman Cresent Hardy a message that we’re here and we vote.”
This wasn’t the first protest against Trump’s presidential campaign. However, it did happen to be the first protest involving taco trucks. The idea for a protest involving taco trucks came from the comments of one of Trump’s surrogates, Marco Gutierrez. Gutierrez sounded a racially tinged warning to supporters in a speech by saying, “[Hispanic] culture is a very dominant culture. It’s imposing and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.” However, thanks to the protest, the prediction proved to be untrue. Instead of a taco truck just on every corner, taco trucks were everywhere.
Not surprisingly, social media blew up during and after the protest. Taco trucks became the latest symbol for rejecting Trump. It was even reported some Democrats started registering people to vote at taco trucks around the country.
In the end, the protest performed by the culinary union was brilliant. It was a legitimate protest involving real economic grievances. However, it also was a terrific piece of performance art. The protest made an explicit connection between Trump’s rhetoric of building a wall and Gutierrez’s paranoid comments regarding the spread of Hispanic culture. The protest was also able to achieve its goal. People paid attention, people talked about it, and people will remember it. In fact, long after the election, people will probably still be talking about that wall of taco trucks.
What are your thoughts about Trump, his hotel, and the taco trucks? Did the protest make you smile? Let us know!