USA today presents them as ordinary people. However, WikiLeaks exposes them as experienced protest organizers and activists.
USA Today presents the protests as spontaneous, involving people from "all walks of life" – certainly not professional protesters. If anyone in the crowd has protest experience, it hasn't been since the Vietnam Era:
They come in all ages and walks of life, unflinching and determined to be heard.
Mothers with young children, hoping to impart an up-close lesson in history. Animated college students stretching their political vocal cords for the first time. Aging Baby Boomers who haven't toted a protest sign since their anti-war days in the 1970s.
Ben Wikler, Washington director for the professional activist group MoveOn, is quoted – only to insist that these are not organized protests but an "enormous outpouring of spontaneous energy and concern."
MoveOn urged Americans to gather peacefully to "take a continued stand against misogyny, racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia." Within hours, about 275 protests and vigils had been organized nationwide Wednesday, Wikler said. "There was an enormous outpouring of spontaneous energy and concern."
So should we expect that everyone quoted in that article is there out of spontaneous concern? Would a reputable newspaper properly identify its sources, noting if they were known activists and organizers? Let's meet USA Today's first protester: