Tonight I went back to Chik Fil A. I went partly because I wanted to see if the left would actually pull off the protest they had planned. And I went partly because I was inspired by the Texas A&M students who stood between Westboro Baptist Church protesters and the attendees of a local soldier’s funeral.
I went to the Chik Fil A in Des Peres, MO. I sat with a small group of friends, we ate and talked, and we waited to see what (if anything) was going to happen. Just after 7pm Eastern, a guy with a video camera showed up. He didn’t approach the restaurant, but instead stayed on the sidewalk close to the street.
Head count: 1 journalist. 0 protesters. Chik Fil A was nearly filled to capacity.
After he had waited on the street alone for a few minutes, one girl with a sign showed up. The cameraman, who worked for local CBS affiliate KMOV, talked to her briefly and then held up the camera. He was soon joined by a second cameraman, this one from the WB network KPLR.
Head count: 2 journalists. 1 protester. Chick Fil A was still nearly filled to capacity.
It was at that point that Martin Baker, Congressional candidate in Missouri’s 1st District, and Jen Ennenbach, grassroots activist, went out to the lone protester to offer her a glass of water. “God bless you,” they said to her as they left her to the reporters. After a short time, two other girls joined her on the street.
Head count: 2 journalists. 3 protesters. Chik Fil A is running out of seats.
For a brief moment, we thought the protest might be coming inside. Two men approached the side door of the restaurant holding hands. We waited. They walked in, stepped up to the counter, and ordered food. As soon as their order was handed across the counter, they gathered their bags and returned to their car. They drove off without so much as a word to the girls protesting on the street.
The manager on duty, Francisco, took it upon himself to get some food together and deliver it to the protesters free of charge.
Head count: 2 journalists. 3 protesters. Chik Fil A is still busy, and the manager is feeding the people who are actively trying to take away his business.
The reporters left when it became clear that the protest was not going to get any traction, but the three girls stayed on the street for nearly an hour. They were joined at one point by a man who stood and spoke with them briefly. And by 8pm CST they were gone. They took the free food with them.
Final head count: 0 journalists. 0 protesters. 0 effect on Chik Fil A’s business.