Wednesday was wet, rainy and bitterly cold. Could there be a better setting for a primordial scream on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's election?
A small but loud crowd of five protesters and one surprise counterprotester showed up at the Continental Avenue pedestrian bridge Wednesday night as part of an event called "Scream Helplessly at the Sky on the Anniversary of the Election."
Soraya Colli, a community organizer from Dallas, put the event together. Similar events were promoted in other cities as well. The Dallas version attracted a healthy following. In the days leading up to the event, more than 1,300 people said they were "interested" and 250 said they were attending.
In the end, only six people showed up. Colli said that the weather may have kept people away, but she planned to scream whether there were "five or 50" people there to join her.
Colli said she believes in the power of protest and liked that the event offered a fun way to express her displeasure with the president and his administration. "Protesting is intense, emotional stuff," she said. "Nobody likes to protest, but it's a means of discussion with the way things are, and we want to be heard. This is the most extreme way to be heard, and it's cathartic."
Most of Wednesday's screamers felt the same as Colli. But the small protest attracted an even smaller counterprotest. At least one driver could be heard screaming "Trump is our president!" from behind the wheel of his car as he drove past the Continental Avenue bridge.
A counterprotester also embedded himself in the group. Just as the protesters were about to let out their guttural howls against Trump, he lowered his head and produced a red "Make America Great Again" cap. He criticized the crowd's turnout while walking back toward the parking lot.
The counterprotester identified himself as Zach from Fort Worth and said he voted for Trump in the election and continues to support the president. "I showed up because I wanted to see something," he said. "Nothing happened. They talk a bunch of shit about starting a revolution. You have to show up if you want to start a revolution."
Colli said she may try harder to draw out a crowd next year, but she hopes she won't have to. "I would love to not have any reason to ... protest," she said. "I'm hoping for a miracle in 2018 and that there's this enormous blue wave that takes over the federal government and even the [Texas] state Legislature."