(WASHINGTON) — The scene was custom-made to go viral on social media.
A 30-foot inflatable chicken with a hairdo to match President Donald Trump appeared on the plot of land south of the White House, perfectly situated for the permanent TV cameras on the roof across the street to capture it between the chief executive’s home and the Washington Monument.
“Chicken Don” as the fowl is known, flew to the top of social media feeds Wednesday afternoon as images of the prop sitting in one of the country’s most famous locations began to circulate.
The bird’s presence was the idea of Taran Singh Brar, a documentary filmmaker, and the culmination of a five-month process to acquire a permit and permission to stage the protest.
“We’re here to criticize the president as a weak and ineffective leader,” said Singh Brar. “He’s too afraid to release his tax returns, too afraid to stand up to Vladimir Putin and now he’s playing chicken with North Korea.”
In March, Singh Brar established a GoFundMe page to raise money to purchase and insure the $1,500 air-filled balloon to be used during April’s Tax March in Chicago — one of several protests of the president around the country coinciding with Tax Day.
Once the chicken was in hand, Singh Brar communicated with the Secret Service and acquired a permit to inflate the balloon on the grass between Constitution Avenue and the White House South Lawn. He arrived at 10 a.m. Wednesday to set it up.
Seven hours later, the area was still flooded with people taking photos and marveling at the golden-haired inflatable, but one notable D.C. resident missed out.
“When the president went on vacation, I felt a little bit bummed,” said Singh Brar, referring to Trump’s ongoing 17-day stay at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. “And then I realized it’s actually better, because the [symbolism] works and the Secret Service won’t be as jumpy.”
The chicken balloon has appeared in Washington before, most recently before a protest in April to pressure Trump into releasing his tax returns. It even has its own Twitter account: @TaxMarchChicken.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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