French Protesters Plan To “Defecate in the Seine” Over Olympic Cleanup Costs

French Protesters Plan To “Defecate in the Seine” Over Olympic Cleanup Costs

French Protesters Plan To “Defecate in the Seine” Over Olympic Cleanup Costs

French citizens are planning a polemical protest against the French government’s outrageous plan to clean up the Seine River for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games 2024. The protest includes a mass “defecation flashmob” in the river on the day when President Emmanuel Macron and Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris are planning to take a swim in the river to promote the river cleanliness highlighting the issue of water pollution.

According to these media reports, this rare form of protest demonstrates a long standing tradition of radical demonstrations in France. The hashtag #JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin which means I Poop in the Seine on June 23rd, is trending on social media platform X after the Mayor announced their plan of swimming in Seine. They even have a website which allows participants to register their locations for the protest.

  The huge cost of 1.2 billion pounds from state funds for this Seine cleanup project is the reason behind public’s anger and the initiation of the protest. People debate that these resources could be better spent somewhere else and this protest aims to showcase the ridiculousness of the government’s priorities. They believe that these funds could be used more effectively in other important areas like education, healthcare and infrastructure.

 “Because after putting us in sh*t, it is up to them to bathe in our sh*t,” This is the slogan protestors decided for the campaign. A post announcing the event, which is trending on X, states: “On Sunday, June 23, we expect many of you to come and take a sh*t in the Seine!”

As the date of protest is approaching, government bodies and authorities are likely to monitor the situation closely as the social media power has already sparked a remarkable amount of attention from both domestic and international audiences and the government doesn’t want to attract any negative publicity before the Paris Olympics hype. 

The 2024 Paris Olympics where around 10,500 athletes from 206 NOCs will compete for their position in the Medal Tally Board, are major events for France, and the government is determined to present a positive image to the world. However, this controversy around the Seine cleanup project and this protest highlights the complicated and often tense relationship between the French government and its citizens. The outcome of this protest may have outcomes not only for the Olympics but also for systematic issues of public trust and government accountability in France.

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