Keep Calm, Carry On – and understand

Keep Calm and Carry On An English-language report from Bulgaria about the Saab Support Convoy in Sofia is causing a few ruffled feathers.
The report headline is….

Bulgarian SAAB fans to hold protest motor rally against GM, US government

….and it says that they’re staging a protest, that they’ll be making rounds of the US consulate, etc. It’s written in quite provocative language.
I haven’t seen a press release from the Saab Club about the convoy, but the only quote I can see mentioned in this report is “With our actions we want to peacefully support the efforts of SAAB’s millions of fans around the world in saving their much loved brand,” – which is exactly what you’d want to hear.
So, a couple of notes about this:

  • As mentioned previously, I’m not sure that a drive-by of any US consulate is a wise idea, because even if it’s well-meaning and despite the fact that the US government owns 60% of GM, that action has the potential to be taken the wrong way. The anti-US comments have already begun right here at SU (unjustified, IMHO, but understandable) and when you get to that point, the focus is completely lost.
  • Be prepared for news reports calling this a protest, despite it being a gesture of support. Calling it a protest will get more people to read the story, which is what the newspapers are after.
  • This report just heightens the need for everyone involved to be extra-careful in their planning and participation. Things can be taken the wrong way by some, so take care and have fun.

I’d urge any organisers to re-assess plans to drive by any US consulates or embassies. It’s not necessary and just opens opportunities for criticism.
This is your event, but please plan for it wisely.
Have a fun time, show your support for Saab and your respect for everyone else in the community.
That way, the message is only about supporting Saab, and not on the negative stuff.

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