As I reported one week ago, a private dock on Seattle's Lake Union has become a temporary resting place for the mammoth yacht owned by Wall Street hedge fund CEO Robert Mercer, who funded the Trump campaign, paid Steve Bannon for political work, and continues to bankroll Breitbart—the web site Bannon has called "the platform for the alt-right."
Now a group of kayaktivists have set a protest for 7 p.m. Tuesday evening to call attention to Mercer, his mega-yacht, and his major financial support for "the racist alt-right agenda." The protesters' call to action continues:
Mercer is the principal benefactor of the Make America Number 1 Super PAC and also part owner of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining and data analysis company credited with giving alt-right candidates an advantage over opponents through controversial methods of hyper-data driven targeting of voters. According to Business Insider, Mercer, who is co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, currently owes the IRS $6.8 billion.
This will be a peaceful protest, the kayaktivists say, and will feature two large Chicken Dons, the inflatable caricatures that have become "a symbol of the weak and ineffective leadership of the current president." While the action is set to occur "on Lake Union," the protest announcement gives a street address that organizers say is the closest they can get to the location of Mercer's yacht: 2157 N. Northlake Way.
There's also SuperYachtFan.com, which offers a map showing the current coordinates of Mercer's yacht. The site values the ship, known as the Sea Owl, at $75 million. (Reported features on the 203-foot vessel include a sink "carved like a gem from a single block of crystal," "fingerprint-recognition keypads," and "security cameras with a 360-degree view at the waterline.")
With a color scheme that has been described as "jade mist green and oyster white," the boat is a clear symbol of the oligarchic power behind our supposedly populist president.
Before financing Trump, Mercer made a fortune using his mathematical brilliance to write code that, according to The New Yorker, "took into account nearly every conceivable predictor of market swings" and thereby allowed Mercer and his fellow hedge fund managers to rake in a lot of cash by accurately predicting which way stocks would go. As the protest organizers note, Mercer is now also accused by detractors of using his Cambridge Analytica data analysis company to figure out how to manipulate voters' perceptions via social media, so that they can be moved to support his preferred candidates—for example, Trump.
There's more about Mercer's allegedly conspiracy-minded, racist-theory-embracing views right here, as well as additional details about the Sea Owl's four floors of fanciness.
Who knows what tonight's planned protest will bring, but here's what it looked like the last time kayaktivists staged a major demonstration in Seattle: