“Giving away sacks of gold so you can divest from Goldman Sachs!”

“Giving away sacks of gold so you can divest from Goldman Sachs!”

“Giving away sacks of gold so you can divest from Goldman Sachs!”

…yells Circus, a member of the group #MicCheckWallStreet.

Positioned in a motor boat towing a handful of activists dressed as pirates, he’s wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, a three corner hat and fake dreadlocks. Other members’ costumes are just as just as outlandish, including corsets, striped shirts and plastic swords. We’re in Union Bay on Cinco de Mayo, the unofficial opening day of boating season. There are more popped collars and grass skirts than I’ve ever seen outside of Hawaii.

The group, committed to bringing about change through community outreach and non-violent direct actions, is performing for people that pay more for their boats than I have for my apartment. The draw? Lots of “arr” puns, free sacks of chocolate coins and well designed treasure maps outlining the sins of Goldman Sachs from a former employee as told to the New York Times. And if the employee of a Goldman subsidiary I spoke with was any indication, the message that they’re not working in their customers’ best interest is one that will fly.

As the 1%, (or at least those that can afford a hole in the water they can pour money into) drink coronas, sip rum and listen to Queen and Jimmy Buffett, they cheer as the group throws bags o’ booty in their yachts. Grown men climb into dinghies to get those thrown a little wide, while younger men flash us when they see the party beads attached to some of the bags. Is having class a prerequisite for class warfare?

Some actions are designed to wake people up through silliness. This was more stealthy in it’s absurdity. Most everyone in the group does a good job of hamming it up and playing the parts of entertainers, not activists. The payoff, whatever it was, occurred out of sight and off camera. No url was blazoned on the maps thrown into boats, but a google search for The Jolly Tax Dodger will give you the group’s website, as will searching the name of the group above the bull and crossed dollar-swords.

This was subtle in the same way Sacha Baron Cohen is subtle. People want to believe that everything is going according to plan and everything will be ok. For a rare sunny afternoon in Seattle, it did seem like everything was.

But perhaps not for those that value their own profits at the expense of their customers.