Now Or Never

Diego vs. the Donald: Meet the Mexican-Canadian man taking on Trump

"He's just a big bully. He's the definition of bullying. He's bullying an entire country."

Diego vs. The Donald

5 years ago
Meet a Mexican-Canadian man taking on Trump in some very unique ways. 1:06

When Diego Saul Reyna is asked what he thinks of presidential candidate Donald Trump, he doesn't hold back. 

"He's just a big bully. He's the definition of bullying. He's bullying an entire country."

Reyna, a Mexican-Canadian steel framer, made headlines earlier this year when he climbed Vancouver's under-construction Trump Tower and hung a Mexican flag from the top. He was responding to Trump's suggestion that many Mexican migrants were rapists or criminals. 

Disguised with a hard hat and loaded down with tools, he entered the site under the guise that he was an engineer coming to work on the tower. The elevator only took him to the 20th floor — he walked the remaining 47 storeys on foot. 

Diego Saul Reyna speaks with Now or Never co-host Trevor Dineen. (CBC )
Reyna used a zip-tie and a shoelace to hang the oversize Mexican flag. Speaking to Now or Never host Trevor Dineen, he said he's never been political, but knew that Donald Trump would hear his message.

"What he does is he grabs everybody in my country and puts them in a punching bag, and every morning he hits it 50 times," said Reyna. "This includes everybody I grew up with [...] my parents, my grandparents, my children — everyone I've ever loved."

"Every time the media replays his message, I get punched. So I either do something or keep getting punched." 

Growing up, leaving home

Reyna was born and raised in Chiapas, Mexico, in what he calls a "very poor area where everyone was very rich in kindness." To put food on the table, his father worked long hours at a nearby mine while his mother split her time between three different jobs. 

'It was very hard watching my parents raise us with so much struggle.' (Diego Reyna)
"It was very hard watching my parents raise us with so much struggle," said Reyna. When his parents made it home at the end of a long day, he remembers that "dad would massage her [mother's] feet with his sore hands." 

As a teenager, Reyna followed the same path that he saw many young Mexicans taking — he decided to leave the country and find somewhere with more opportunities. 

Last year, Reyna received his Canadian citizenship. He and his Canadian-born wife have one child and another on the way. 

After his stunt on the Trump Tower, Reyna received media attention from around the world. But after such a visible protest, he was left wondering what to do next to confront the man he says is "taking bullying to the extreme." 

Using Donald Trump's face against him

Reyna's latest eye-catching protest is part social experiment, part performance art. 

Wearing a latex Trump mask, suspenders and a bright red tie, he goes out in the world to perform good deeds, saying he's a "parallel universe" version of the real Donald Trump.

He's held doors open for people. He's cleaned graffiti off the side of a building. He's even swept the stairs in front of a mosque — all in the name of subverting expectations and seeing how people react to a kind and gentle Donald Trump.

"It reveals that it's shocking that he's doing anything positive, and it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be shocking that anybody does anything positive. It should be the norm." 

Now or Never joined Reyna as he hit the streets in his Donald costume, and reactions were mixed. As he held doors open and cleaned tables, some people hurled insults while others thanked Trump for being a good guy.

Regardless of how people react to "parallel universe" Trump, Reyna said that his goal is to highlight the impact that a powerful man's words and actions can have. 

"I really felt powerless that I'm not able to do anything against somebody so powerful. He's unreachable. English is not my first language, I'm not born here, and I don't have any education... but I felt compelled to do something." 

RAW: Diego Reyna puts on his Donald Trump mask

5 years ago
Diego Reyna puts on his Donald Trump mask for Now or Never host Trevor Dineen 0:40