Activists Plan Pre-Olympic Protest: You Can't Make This Sh*t Up, Literally!

By Lisa Pelgin | Sunday, 23 June 2024 12:00 PM
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Image Credit : Paris Insiders Guide

In a uniquely French display of civil disobedience, a faction of Parisians is preparing for a mass protest against the state of the Seine River's water quality, ahead of the forthcoming summer Olympics.

The demonstration, as unconventional as it may sound, involves a coordinated act of defecating in the Seine River.

According to The Blaze, the planned protest is a manifestation of public discontent over the government's perceived lack of progress in a $1.5 billion project aimed at purifying the river in preparation for the 2024 summer games in Paris. The French government had pledged to make the Seine swimmable before the Olympics' commencement in late July. Both President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo even vowed to take a dip in the Seine before the games to demonstrate its safety.

However, efforts to sanitize the Seine have largely been deemed unsuccessful. Companies tasked with monitoring the river's condition have reported persistently "alarming" levels of bacteria from sewage and other pollutants. This includes "alarming levels of bacteriological pollution at the Alexandre III Bridge," the designated starting point for the triathlon and marathon swimming events.

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In what appears to be a response to the government's perceived inertia, an anonymous individual launched a website featuring the viral hashtag, "#JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin," translating roughly to "I pooped in the Seine on June 23rd." The website invites protesters to participate, stating, "after putting us in sh*t it's up to them to bathe in our sh*t."

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The person behind the website, speaking to local media outlet ActuParis, said, "At the beginning, the objective was to make a joke, by bouncing off this ironic hashtag. In the end, are people really going to go sh*t in the Seine, or set up militant actions? Nothing is excluded."

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The issue of water quality is not a novel concern for the Olympics. The 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were marred by unsanitary conditions and pollution, prompting warnings to athletes to avoid the water for their health and safety.

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French officials have attributed the Seine's poor water quality to unusually high rainfall, which they argue has degraded the water quality. They also assert plans to activate additional disinfection facilities before the games to enhance water quality. This situation underscores the need for governments to prioritize environmental health, a key aspect of individual freedom and well-being.

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