ASUNCION, Paraguay–Eight city transit bus drivers from Luque, Paraguay who nailed themselves to crosses in protest of being fired for asking for higher pay are now themselves being protested by groups representing more conventional means of protest.
The International Sandwich Board Advocates (ISBA) and the World Society of Sign Carriers (WSSC) have descended on the town in Northern Paraguay to protest the drivers, asserting that the notion of self-crucifixion needs to be stopped.
“What’s going to happen to us if this takes off?” said Fredrico Dirje, president of the Asuncion Chapter of the ISBA, said in the picket line next to the suffering drivers, who have themselves nailed to wooden crosses laid on the ground. “I mean, for some people, making sandwich boards and carrying signs is almost a cottage industry. We don’t know where, exactly, but it’s something we hear all the time!”
Protesters from the two arriving groups have even showed solidarity by interchanging protest message methods, with the sign-carrying people wearing sandwich boards, and the sandwich board people carrying signs. “This is how serious we are about this thing,” said Dirje. “Carrying a sign and wearing a sandwich board is so easy that even we have picked up how to do the opposite. It’s certainly better than nailing yourself to a cross. These bus drivers need to understand that by crucifying themselves, they’re making life harder on everyone involved.”
The protesting bus drivers have been nailed to their crosses intermittently over the last two weeks in a desperate attempt to be heard, fighting infections and related health problems. Some of the wives of the drivers have also taken turns having themselves nailed to crosses next to their husbands in additional support.
In an added dimension, a third community of protesters are now protesting those who are in protest. A group of union workers who make the nails the crucified drivers are using, called “Mind Your Own Damned Business!” is protesting the middle group.
“Just what’s the problem with self-crucifixion, anyway?” , said Jorge Sincte, leader of the local Nail Makers Union. “None of these guys are concert pianists or anything, so where’s the problem? These sign yahoos need to buzz off!”
For budget concerns, the local Nail Makers Union had to scrap plans to bring a giant inflatable rat to the protest, settling instead to hire an unemployed clown who specializes in making balloon animals. “We have to do something to keep him off the booze, anyway,” said Sincte.