Why Was There a Giant Inflatable Chicken Near the White House?

As political protests go, this one was hard to miss.

A giant inflatable chicken, the latest protest stunt against President Trump, appeared outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon. It was the brainchild of Taran Singh Brar, an artist and documentary filmmaker based in Washington.

Mr. Brar said in a video on CGTN’s website that he had the idea in March to haul that chicken to the Ellipse near the White House. It took four months of planning and getting the right permits for his plan to come to fruition.

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But why, pray tell, a chicken? And especially one that comes with a name, Chicken Don or Donny, and a Twitter account, @TaxMarchChicken?

“Images speak a thousand words, and the daily fire hose of lies from Trump is pretty deflating, like Chicken Don right now,” Mr. Brar says in the CGTN video.

Mr. Brar also told USA Today that he wanted to make a statement about the president being a “weak and ineffective leader.”

“He’s too afraid to release his tax returns, too afraid to stand up to Vladimir Putin, and playing chicken with North Korea,” he was quoted as saying.

Mr. Brar is not the first to unfurl an eye-popping symbol of political discontent aimed at Mr. Trump. Last year, an anarchist group called INDECLINE displayed orange nude life-size statues of the presidential candidate in several American cities, including in a park in New York.

When the 30-foot bird with the golden coif appeared this week on the Ellipse, a park directly south of the White House in view of the Washington Monument, onlookers had no trouble identifying its human doppelgänger.

The chicken’s furrowed golden brows make it look angry. Its feathered crown is side-swept to resemble Mr. Trump’s hairstyle, which sometimes seems to defy the laws of physics.

The chicken sports a bright red wattle, the fleshy comb found below a rooster’s beak — echoing the president’s favorite color of necktie.

Mr. Trump wasn’t there to see the chicken in person, since he was miles away on an extended working vacation at his property in Bedminster, N.J., where a chicken likely falls low on a list of concerns currently topped by rising nuclear tensions with North Korea.

By Wednesday evening, it had deflated.

But we were left with so many questions, especially: Did the artist know Mr. Trump would be out of town when he unveiled his resistance piece?

Attempts to reach the artist via messages on LinkedIn and Facebook were unsuccessful.

The images of the chicken were designed by the Seattle artist Casey Latiolais and manufactured in China, according Mr. Brar, who said he purchased them and shipped them to D.C.

This is not the rooster’s first, um, “rodeo”: It appeared as a mascot in Tax March protests in American cities in April, where people aimed to pressure Mr. Trump to release his tax returns.

A Trump chicken was previously used to mark the Year of the Rooster in China. And versions of the chicken have hatched and are on sale on eBay.

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