Putting Up Posters Here Is Contraindicated

, , , , , | Working | February 1, 2021

For those who don’t know, contra dancing is a social folk dance for couples. It started in New England and has spread over the US in the past few decades.

In 1987, a group of us were trying to establish a contra dance club in a large sunbelt city. We needed to advertise and a local natural food store in town looked like an obvious choice. It had a bulletin board for community announcements and we put a flyer up.

The flyer disappeared within a few hours. We assumed someone had taken it for information; encouraged, we placed another one there. This, too, vanished quickly. Rinse and repeat: four flyers went up and were immediately removed.

Finally, we realized that the store itself must be taking them down, so we asked the manager why our flyers were not welcome.

Manager: “We don’t support the Contras!”

The Iran-Contra affair was a secret US arms deal that took place during Ronald Reagan’s presidency where they traded missiles and such to free American hostages in Lebanon. The US also used funds from this deal to support armed conflict in Nicaragua, where anti-communist Contras were fighting with the communist Sandinista government.

Obviously, it had nothing to do with our dance club!

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