Concord gives green light to Hillary Clinton pony protest

Tuesday, 05 December 2017, 07:01:57 AM. A pony-centric protest planned against Hillary Clinton’s book signing has been given a green light by the City of Concord, after a First Amendment lawsuit prompted the city attorney to strike a deal Monday.Political provocateur Vermin Supreme will be...

A pony-centric protest planned against Hillary Clinton’s book signing has been given a green light by the City of Concord, after a First Amendment lawsuit prompted the city attorney to strike a deal Monday.

Political provocateur Vermin Supreme will be allowed to occupy a downtown parking space to display two ponies in protest of Clinton’s event, according to city solicitor James Kennedy. The space – across the street of Gibson’s Bookstore on Main Street, where the event will be held – will be open to Supreme from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The arrangement came after the city originally denied Supreme a permit from the city’s health and licensing office to bring and display the animals. Supreme filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of New Hampshire in response; Monday’s settlement meeting was carried out in lieu of a court appearance. 

Supreme will be allowed to keep his ponies in the parking space as long as he pays the necessary parking fees, Kennedy said. If he takes the space for the entire allotted time, it could cost him $5.25 to park his ponies there.

“We got creative here,” Kennedy said. “We don’t typically get pony requests on a daily basis.”

For Supreme, the incident is hardly a departure from the norm.

Originally from Massachusetts, Supreme, who characterizes himself as an activist, has run for various political offices in the United States since the 1980s, including President. He is known for wearing a boot as a hat, and his political platform has historically included mandatory toothbrushing and a pony for every American.

Supreme has said he plans to demonstrate outside the unveiling of Clinton’s campaign memoir – “What Happened” – in protest of a passage in the book that directly refers to ponies. 

The excerpt, in which Clinton reprints an internet meme featuring a fictional Bernie Sanders promising free ponies, is a direct – and unwelcome – allusion to Supreme and his political movement, he asserts.

On Tuesday at 1 p.m., Clinton will appear at the bookstore to sign books and meet with patrons, at a sold-out event expected to attract 1,000 people.

Gibson’s Bookstore owner Michael Herrmann said the store had no involvement in the settlement. The store, which has held numerous political events and hosted Bernie Sanders weeks after the 2016 election, is new to the pony protest scene. 

“We’ve never seen anything like it,” Hermann said. “But this is a national event, so it’s different.”

“We have our own thing to do,” he added. “We just have to make sure it’s a successful event for everybody who’s coming.”

(Ethan DeWitt can be reached at edewitt@cmonitor.com, or on Twitter at @edewittNH.)

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