“Clown Lives Matter” March Canceled After Receiving Threats
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October 28th, 2016 – People in cities across the nation have reported random sightings of people dressed as clowns. The epidemic of rainbow wig-wearing, face-painted freaks standing at the edge of wooded areas and other public areas have sparked fears of clown-on-human attacks. There have already been several cases of clowns charged with threatening citizens in towns in Alabama and Texas among others. One woman also reported a clown attempted to abduct her one-year-old child from a bus stop.
Professional clowns have expressed dismay that the negative publicity will effect their livelihood. Local authorities have issued statements warning of severe penalties for criminals regardless of how ridiculously oversized their shoes are. Even Stephen King, world-famous horror writer (and creator of one of the most infamous clowns, Pennywise), weighed in on the anti-clown hysteria.
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
In an effort to quell public fears, a group of clowns in Tucson, Arizona organized a “Clown Lives Matter” march. They posted flyers advertising the march and calling for understanding:
“This is a peaceful walk to show clowns are not psycho killers. We want the public to feel safe, and not be afraid. So come out, bring the family, meet a clown and get a hug!”
However well-intentioned the event organizers may have been, the response to the march has been largely negative. Instead of promoting peace and understanding, the proposed event resulted in a spate of death threats aimed at any clowns planning on attending the march. The name of the event mirrored that of the Black Lives Matter movement, which calls attention to the abuse of force by police officers against black people. The head of the Arizona chapter of the Civil Rights group told the Arizona Republic newspaper:
“The notion of a Clown Lives Matter rally is insensitive, as the issue of police brutality and violence is a serious issue and the clown issue is not as important.”
In light of the flurry of social media attention around clowns and the march, the event planners opted to cancel the rally altogether and deleted any online reference to the affair.