TikTok users got crafty this week and intentionally reserved free tickets to President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally on Saturday (June 20) — just to not show up — and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is proud.
Though Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale boasted of passing out 800,000 tickets for the rally and Trump bragged about one million people requesting tickets, the Tulsa fire marshal told NBC News only 6,200 attendees were present at the Bank of Oklahoma Center Arena. The arena itself holds approximately 19,000 guests. There was also a scheduled second speech from the president set up outside for an overflow of approximately 40,000 supporters. It was reportedly canceled because only a couple of dozen people came.
In a tweet, Parscale blames the low turnout on “apocalyptic media coverage” and protesters.
“Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID,” Ocasio-Cortez retorted in response to Parscale’s tweet. “Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud.”
As noted by the The New York Times, a TikTok video by a woman named Mary Jo Laupp was uploaded on June 12 explaining the strategy. Mary Jo’s video racked up millions of views before making its way to K-pop Twitter stans.
According to YouTuber Elijah Daniel, the movement was spread through “Alt TikTok.” “K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly,” he told The New York Times.
Besides being trolled by Generation Z, another explanation for Trump’s low rally turnout is that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and six of his campaign staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the rally was supposed to take place on Friday (June 19) but was rescheduled after being met with criticism.
This isn’t the first time K-pop stans have used their power to mobilize politically, however. For example, BTS fans recently donated over $2 million to Black Lives Matter and in Dallas, K-pop fans jammed Dallas Police Department’s IWatch Dallas app, where authorities asked residents to report “illegal activity from the protests,” with fancams.
Ocasio-Cortez further echoed her praise to K-pop stans with this closing tweet: “KPop allies, we see and appreciate your contributions in the fight for justice too.”