It's no surprise that a Mexican politician would object to Donald Trump's proposed border wall — but only in Trump's America could one raise those objections in the president-elect's own building.
In other words: The protest is coming from inside the house.
That's exactly what happened Wednesday morning when Mexican politician Gerardo Fernández Noroña walked into Trump Tower, sat down in front of the golden elevator bank and held up a sign showing a map of the United States labeled “Mexico in 1830.”
After quickly being approached by Trump Tower security staff, Fernández Noroña seemed to initially resist leaving the lobby area, where media cameras and reporters are stationed each day to monitor comings and goings from Trump's transition meetings in the tower's upper floors. Security officers appeared to convince him to move a short way away from the elevators before he sat back down again. New York City police officers quickly escorted him from the lobby.
Fernández Noroña tweeted about his incursion, saying roughly, “I'm very satisfied with today's protest. Only two of us did it, requiring no more than our determination and patriotism.”
Fernández Noroña was accompanied by a woman who broadcast the protest on the Periscope app using her cellphone.
The protest isn't remarkable for its content; protests against Trump's policies were a staple of his candidacy and rallies, and have continued even since his election.
But what is remarkable is that a foreign politician can now make his objections publicly deep inside what has already been labeled “White House North” in some quarters. He didn't protest outside the White House fence. He didn't gather protesters on the Mall. He walked right into Trump's building, and sat down in front of the elevator. His message was broadcast to the pool of media outlets that has cameras at Trump Tower every day, snapped in photos by newspaper and wire photographers, and written about by print reporters, all in front of the backdrop of Trump's shiny golden home.
New York City is footing a huge bill to keep Trump Tower secure — the lobby of Trump Tower is considered a public space, and must be accessible to the public during certain hours each day.
In early December, a man was arrested for entering the lobby carrying knives and fireworks. Just last week, the lobby was evacuated because of a suspicious bag (that turned out to be filled with children's toys).
Trump seems to have no plans to move out of his golden New York home long-term. And his wife and youngest son will remain there, at least for the early months of his presidency.
But as long as the president-elect (and soon-to-be-president) keeps one of his primary residences in downtown Manhattan, there are likely to be security challenges — and maybe the occasional protest from a foreign dignitary.