All we are saying is ... don't burn the Man!
Anti-Burn activists plan to protest the burning of the Man this year. "This horrible torture has gone on long enough," says one protester. "The Man is innocent. He deserves to live."
The group feels the Man belongs to everyone, and cite concerns about air pollution and fire safety. They have been in contact with Larry Harvey, who has said that he is considering the idea of not burning the Man, claiming that the concept just might be somewhat outdated and cliché. He has hinted that next year he may burn something even bigger instead. Protesters are wary, but say that anything that will save the Man is a step in the right direction.
At an anti-Burn rally yesterday, throngs of people protested, carrying signs that said, "Don't Burn the Man!" A bearded young participant played a guitar under a shade structure, and led the crowd to sing:
This Man is your man
This Man is my man,
From the Black Rock Desert
To the open playa
From the Esplanade circle
To the great orange trash fence
This Man was made for you and me.
Rumor has it that this year, the anti-Burn protesters may outnumber those who actually want to burn the Man. Many are plotting to chain themselves to the Man on Burn Night.
The growing number of "Burners" who are apathetic towards the Burn is adding to the controversy. "Oh, the Man?" says one participant. "I didn't really notice him ... I guess it's okay if they burn him. Why is he there anyway? Is that where the porta-potties are?"
Other participants have expressed confusion over the name of the festival. "Like, if they don't burn the Man, what will it be called? Bunring Man? Standing Man? I dunno, man, that's weird." One participant suggested the Man could remain standing, but the Starbucks at Center Camp should set alight instead. Other participants quickly dismissed this idea, as it would require them to make their own coffee, clearly an undue hardship in this hostile desert environment.
However, the anti-Burn protesters say they do not support the burning of the cafe, but are working instead to unionize the volunteers as soon as possible.