As the standoff between protesters and Mammalian Daily editors enters its third day, the reasons for this historic protest are becoming clear.
“Primarily, it’s about the message you’re sending, particularly with that photograph of Gunnar]Rotte],” says Dedrick Knaagdier, Media Relations Representative for The Park’s aid group, Rodents at Risk.
Knaagdier has been in attendance at the protest since the beginning, though he wasn’t among those who started it.
“They weren’t even Gunnar’s friends, but they saw the injustice and the way the paper was manipulating the message and they couldn’t take it anymore,” he says.
“Gunnar made a legitimate complaint but it was overshadowed by that photograph.”
The photograph in question shows Rotte holding two pies that he says he purchased at a bakery outside The Park. His complaint was that he had been assaulted at the bakery while trying to buy the pies.
“The way the photograph was taken, it makes it look as if he’s a thief,” says Knaagdier.
“He looks as if he’s smiling … as if he got away with something, rather than he did his duty [by paying] but was treated terribly. The photograph just plays into the stereotyping of Rodents … something they experience on a daily basis.”
Despite attempts by all major Park media to contact Mammalian Daily managing editor Orphea Haas, no official statement has been made, nor has the name of the photographer been revealed.
“They’ve said nothing, not even ‘We stand by our story,'” says Knaagdier.