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In Center City Philadelphia, A Protest Against Protests Nets Uncontested Positivity

("Pro"tester  Marc Erlbaum chats with a passerby in Rittenhouse Square.  Credit: Pat Loeb)

(“Pro”tester Marc Erlbaum chats with a passerby in Rittenhouse Square. Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a different kind of protest this afternoon in Rittenhouse Square.  The emphasis was on the “pro,” and the goal was to spread positive feelings.

A small group of people held signs urging smiles, hugs, and good vibes, but organizer Marc Erlbaum (at right in photo) says he is acting out of frustration.

“With all of the negative things in the media and people speaking out about negative things, we thought it was important to come out and say, ‘Life is great,’ and engage people in doing something more happy and positive,” he said today.

For young Elit, who just happened to be crossing the square with his parents, that meant making his own sign with a picture of his favorite creature.

“I love sharks!” he explained.

He then made another sign for his sister.

“Emma loves dogs.”

Elit’s father liked the idea of a “pro”-test.

“It looks very peaceful, very nice, so it’s a pretty good thing,” he said.

A group of high school girls from Doylestown stopped to see what the protest was about.

“We realized it wasn’t much of a protest,” said one.  “It’s a happier environment.  I’ve seen Occupy Philly and this is a lot better.”

“I mean, this is accomplishing a lot more,” said another.  “Like, we’re in a more cheerful mood now.  I like it. It was a fun surprise.”

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