Birds Aren’t Real lands fans in Washington Square
MANHATTAN — Even its creator admits that the Birds Aren’t Real movement isn’t real.
Yet that didn’t keep scores of supporters—and people who called themselves counter-protesters—from flocking to Washington Square Park on a beautiful Saturday evening.
The satirical campaign, given wing by Peter McIndoe, 24, a performance artist and filmmaker, delivers its supposed conspiracy theory via social media, on billboards and in local TV news interviews.
America’s birds were eliminated by the federal government decades ago, McIndoe says. That means, just like birds replaced across the country, the pigeons, sparrows and robins of New York are drone replicas that spy on the populace.
Men who called themselves counter-protesters decried the movement as misguided, even as comedy.
“Persuading people in the wrong direction makes people go off on the wrong ideas,” said one.
McIndoe broke character last year to reveal his more serious intent. Hundreds of thousands still follow Birds Aren’t Real’s social accounts.
However, the movement has work to do with the youngest New Yorkers, it appears.
Watching the rally while perched on a man’s back, one little girl didn’t approve of the spectacle:
“They’re real!” she shouted.