The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday January 31st

Air horn activism: couple kicks off HB2 protest at governor's mansion

At least, that’s the hope of Tina and Grayson Currin, who are spearheading the first of what they would like to be weekly occurrences starting with an April 13 protest dubbed Air Horn Orchestra #1.

“We’re not into discrimination and we love our state. We think it’s important be loud, figuratively, literally,” said Tina Currin, a creative strategist at Myriad Media.

The Currins have succeeded in creative forms of activism before — their Saturday Chores campaign finds them counter-protesting anti-abortion advocates by making satirical signs of their own and documenting the results on Tumblr.

“This idea of being disruptive and quirky and weird really seems to have hit a chord with people,” she said.

She said their non-traditional style can capture the attention of people who usually tune out explicit discussions of issues.

Grayson Currin, music editor of INDY Week, said while traditional forms of protest are invaluable, the air horn orchestra is an appropriate rhetorical response to the logic behind the bill.

“We’re just doing something as ridiculous as what we see they’re doing,” he said.

Michal Osterweil, a global studies lecturer at UNC, said while a social movement can be enigmatic to qualify, the public’s swift response against House Bill 2 could be interpreted by some as a sign of a larger cause — the fight for greater diversity.

Grayson Currin said in today’s world, the internet is a key platform to make voices heard and mobilize events — like the air horn orchestra, which is being shared on Facebook.

He said today’s fight is one for sweeping inclusivity.

“I think America is in the midst of a really great civil rights moment,” he said.

Osterweil said the experience of activism — being out in the streets with other passionate people — generates momentum and galvanizes people to follow up their protests by voting.

Other activists are so disillusioned with the political system that they refuse to participate, she said.

But Grayson Currin said he hopes for the former.

While air horn activism will be fun and different, it will be a missed opportunity if people don’t actually vote against the people who enable measures like House Bill 2 to pass, he said.

He said the influx of youth participation is a good sign for activism, and a bad sign for the conservative ideologies that currently dictate state decisions.

“Pat McCrory is going to wish he was still the mayor of Charlotte,” he said.


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