If you ever wanted to attend a protest but were unable to on account of location, timing, or other constraints, then Wistand is for you! Wistand is an online platform that enables people to hire proxies for protesting on their behalf anytime and anywhere. This way you can get involved and support the causes that you are passionate about.
However, before you get excited about this whole idea of proxy protestors, let it be known that Wistand is only available in France as of now. The country that has been witnessing ‘yellow vests’ protests on a weekly basis for about six months now. Although the idea for the online service, Wistand, might have been inspired by the Yellow Vests anti-government protestors, it is not affiliated with the movement. Wistand can be used for any kind of protests, as long as they are in France. Simply, head to Wistand website and initiate a ‘cause’ or you can find a cause that you care about, and donate a set fee that will fund a ‘messenger’ – the person who will be attending the protest on your behalf.
The Wistand team will connect you with a messenger once you have placed an order. Your payment will only be debited once the messenger accepts the terms of the ‘cause’. If you place an order 48 hours before the slated protest, you can also pay for accessories such as printed t-shirts, caps, and banners thus allowing the messenger to have more impact. You can make sure that the messenger is attending the protest thanks to the geolocation technology. You can even ask the messenger to share photos and video in real time thus serving two purposes; making sure that the messenger is actually at the protects and so that you are also able to follow the action.
Grégoire Laugier, the founder and CEO of Wistand, said, ‘In a way, it’s the equivalent of proxy voting, applied to protesting. It’s a bit like in the years 1990/2000, with the first dating sites. In the beginning, everyone was shocked, and today everyone is on one.’ He believes that his business is fulfilling a real need. According to him, Wistand is a democratic service. He makes sure that protests remain manipulation-free by stating that every messenger is allowed to represent a single real person who can pay for one messenger.
What do you think of this online service? Do let us know!