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Flash Mobbers Strike Again

Posted by Paloma / June 23, 2008

flashmob1.jpg

It is Saturday, early evening, and people are contentedly strolling on closed-to-traffic St. Laurent Blvd. Nearby, at the corner of Prince-Arthur and Coloniale, a crowd of people inconspiculously begins to form. They come in pairs and small groups, and smile conspiratorially at one another. The diners at patio restaurants cast them brief glances, but, accustomed to unusual behaviour on the pedestrian strip, turn back to their meals. They wait around for about 15 minutes, and then the crowd breaks up and gravitates towards St. Laurent. At precisely 7:30, a man thrusts out his hand formed like a gun, points it at his neighbour and shouts "Bang!" Montreal flash mobbers have struck again.

A flash mob is a spontaneous gathering of people to perform an urban prank, usually in public spaces to the amazement of unsuspecting bystanders. The events are coordinated in advance on social networking sites (The Flash Mob Foundation and Improv Everywhere Montreal Chapter coordinated this event). But with the events publicized on Facebook and blogs, the surprise element of flash mobbing may be fading. Past Montreal flash mobs include a pillow fight, a freeze, and a silent disco party.

flashmob2.jpg

This "attack" was inspired by an Xbox 360 commercial that never made it to air because it was too controversial. The action has the participants staging a mock gun fight, and dying violent deaths. The victims lay on the ground for several seconds, and then got up and dispersed. The whole thing was over just as it began. A video of the event has already been posted on Youtube.

flashmob4.jpg

Photos by Sébastien Lemoine and Eric Constantineau

Discussion

73 Comments

Jer / June 24, 2008 at 09:29 am
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Hey Paloma...were you a shooter, a casualty, or a puzzled bystander (who has an impeccable sense of timing?)
Paloma / June 24, 2008 at 09:34 am
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None of the above - I was an insider, informed in advance. I was doing a little radio school work and showed up to spy on these people and capture audio of their antics.
launa / July 2, 2008 at 02:33 pm
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Hi Paloma,

I enjoyed reading your article. I think you bring up a good point, that perhaps, in some respects the element of surprise IS fading.
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