WEIRD NEWS

A Real Protester Gives Oregon Mayor A Pepsi. It Didn't End Well.

It happened IN REAL LIFE.

06/04/2017 10:37 AM AEST | Updated 07/04/2017 8:02 AM AEST

Oh no. Someone tried to make the Pepsi revolution a real thing.

A city council meeting in Portland, Oregon, was interrupted Wednesday morning by a protester who rushed up to the mayor, pulled a can of Pepsi from his jacket and handed it to him.

What I realized is that the language of resistance has not been properly translated,” the protester told council members before approaching Mayor Ted Wheeler. “So this is for you.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the mayor said nervously. “Not a good move! Don’t do that again. Not a smart move.” 

The protester then pulled another soda from his jacket, snapped it open and raised his can to the mayor. Two police officers quickly intervened and escorted the man away, according to The Oregonian.

Portland City Council/eGov PDX
A protester approaches Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler with a can of Pepsi.
Portland City Council/eGov PDX
Two police officers escort the man away.

The stunt was reminiscent of Pepsi’s recent tone-deaf commercial in which Kendall Jenner solves police-on-protester brutality by offering a can of the soda to a cop. Much like Jenner’s ad, which Pepsi pulled from YouTube on Wednesday and issued an apology, the real-life Portland protester’s stunt made everyone very uncomfortable.

The Pepsi-wielding man claimed to be Carlos Enrique, and said he was a Portland transplant and former journalist at the Boston Herald. A spokesman for the Herald told The Huffington Post the paper has no record of Enrique’s employment.

Pepsi/Portland City Council
Left: In the cancelled commercial Kendall Jenner somehow solves police brutality by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi. Right: A protester in Portland attempts to hand the mayor a can of Pepsi, too.

Enrique testified before the council during a hearing on the subject of abandoned boats. But instead of talking about dirty docks, he commented about unruly citizens at city council meetings.

“It made me kind of wonder,” Enrique told the council. “Like, how can someone just endure people coming and berating you every week and everyone gets mad and you say I’m signing the ordinance anyway?”

Aside from the strange interruption, Wednesday’s city council meeting was calmer than some other recent meetings, The Oregonian reported. Activists have disrupted and shut down city council meetings over the past few months in protest of issues that have included homelessness and police brutality.

Wheeler implemented new rules last week to prevent disruptive behavior, which included barring protesters from meetings, enforcing the meeting room’s 182-person capacity and threatening arrests for those who refuse to leave once they are ejected.

Watch Enrique’s Pepsi stunt at the 2:51:00 mark in the video below.

This article has been updated to include the Boston Herald’s response.

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