Periscope Depth

got a man of the people, says keep hope alive

There was a picket line outside my office yesterday.

I saw them as I crossed through the lobby, circling the corner of Clarendon and St. James. The lobby held a few more blue-blazered security guards than usual, staring at the crowd but doing nothing. It was a group of at least 50 middle-aged folks. Their signs read “DENHAM CAPITAL – GREED IS NOT GREEN.” They were led by a portly man with a bullhorn strapped to his belt, talking into a handheld mic.

“They don’t want to hear this,” he was saying. “They want us to go away. Well, we’re not going anywhere.” He then led his protesters in a chant (“Greed is not green! Greed is not green!”) (of course it’s not; look, they’re not even spelled the same). The problem with leading a chant is that if you don’t yell, no one else feels inclined to yell. And if you yell into a bullhorn you get feedback. So you had fifty people scattered across eighty yards of street corner, about half of whom were chanting, being led by a guy speaking at a conversational tone into a loudspeaker. “Greed is not green,” he said. “Greed is not green.”

This was the first I’d heard of Denham Capital. Yes, I share a building with them, but my building is sixty stories tall. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out what exactly they were protesting. Perhaps they’re invested in BP, I thought, but the Denham Capital investments page says otherwise. Nothing turned up in Google News, unless the recent sale of an asphalt company to a San Antonio energy firm was an unforgivable outrage. And Googling “denham capital greed is not green” yielded nothing. So I don’t know how these protesters expect to communicate their message to someone who’s passing by in a hurry. C’mon, guys: how much does a web domain cost these days?

I cut right through the picket line, just so I could say I did.