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A Protester Actually Tried To Hand The Portland Mayor A Pepsi And Spoiler Alert: Change Did Not Come


Posted on April 6, 2017, at 12:41 p.m. ET

During a Portland, Oregon, city council meeting on Wednesday, a man got up to speak and identified himself as "Carlos Enrique...a former journalist for the Boston Herald." He said he's covered city council meetings extensively and was struck by how many angry protesters there were against the city's mayor, Ted Wheeler.

"I have just moved here and I have to say I was very surprised by how there are so many people that show up to city council and just kind of get angry at you and yell at you and stuff like that," the protester said to Wheeler.

He said he's covered city council meetings "extensively" in his career, but he's never seen as many protesters as there were during Portland council meetings.

(Note: When BuzzFeed News reached out to the Boston Herald, an HR spokesperson said there has never been a "Carlos Enrique" in their employment database history.)

The protester added that he's perplexed that the mayor would be signing ordinances amid all of the criticism.

"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?'” he asked Wheeler.

He concluded by telling the mayor, "The language of resistance has not been properly translated to you." He then got up and handed Wheeler a can of Pepsi.

The gesture was an obvious nod to the Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner that drew national outrage and sparked internet-wide memes.

Pepsi has since pulled the ad and apologized in a statement released on Wednesday.

But unlike the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad, for the Portland protester, things didn't end in cheers and kumbayas. The mayor felt threatened, and the man was quickly escorted out by security.

Mayor Wheeler was startled when the protester approached him. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, not a good move."

"I do appreciate it, but don't do that again," Wheeler said as security shooed the protester out of the meeting.

"If this were the Boston City Council, that would have ended differently," Wheeler added, before moving on to the next testimony.

You can watch the entire stunt below (starting around the 2:50:50 mark):

View this video on YouTube

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.