Bring on the protests!

It’s day 2 in the exhibition hall at the XIX International AIDS Conference. The conference is now in full swing, and things are much busier than yesterday. Today also saw the start, just a few minutes ago, of the famous protests that have become a mainstay of this event.

Usually there are scores of angry, shouting activists tearing apart the pharma booths, creating a racket and a real mess. I’d already had my post-lunch Merck frozen yogurt, so appreciated the protesters’ late-afternoon timing.

Thought I’d wander out from my booth in the safe zone (far enough from the big sponsors to not have to worry about having paint thrown on me or anything unpleasant like that) to see the mayhem, and what did I find?

A pretty civil bunch of attractive young people chanting and not being destructive. And what were they protesting? Canada. Yep, Canada. I’m sure there was a very good reason for the protest, I just couldn’t make out what the protesters were saying in their chants. But they shut down the Canada booth by wrapping it in yellow tape. Imagine.

The pharma guys must all be heaving a really big sigh of relief right about now. The frozen yogurt machine is unscathed!

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