January 22nd, 2014
05:02 PM ET

Protesting, French style

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Here in the United States, Congress’ approval ratings are near their lowest levels in history. Nearly half of those polled in the U.K. said they were angry at their nation’s politicians. There were riots last week near a Spanish political party headquarters. And protestors in Ukraine continue to call for the government to go…

It would seem that the whole world is tired of government!

Perhaps the most expressive protest came from Paris last week, where despite the French reputation for snooty and uninterested citizens, protests there have always been big and creative. Furniture barricades during 19th century rebellions famously depicted in Les Miserables come to mind. In more recent decades, farmers protested falling grain prices with tractors blocking the streets and by burning hay on the Champs Elysees.

Last week's protest may be hard to forget as well. A man dumped a large pile of steaming manure outside the National Assembly, protesting the policies of President Hollande and his government.

While these protests are creative, they can actually be too creative and too effective. The government in France often surrenders…after all who would want to be confronted every day with a pile of, well, you know what?

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Topics: France • Last Look

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. JAL

    I think it is important to note that businesses tend to favor one political party in their country, and they align hiring and growth efforts with the political election seasons. Yeah, it makes me sick too, but it is a reality that we must be responsible with in dealing. Lets not hold anyone responsible for this reality.

    January 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
    • JAL

      Keep the Olympics safe and fun.

      January 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  2. tracie

    I just pooped.

    January 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
  3. banasy©

    Lol. That is a dirty pile. I guess the French aren't as passive as they used to be.

    January 23, 2014 at 8:31 am |
  4. Eddie Fonseca

    During the late sixties and seventies France was known to America for being a country which invented French Gypsy Jazz, and the best romantic music and movies you find as you watch a young attractive Parisian woman sitting in a café smoking a cigarette and sipping a glass of fine France red wine while watching the sunset in Paris. France was known for it best techniques in French cooking and what we don't hear as much as American and foreign tourists is about the riots about equal pay and better working conditions in this open minded European country. Being a European American who visited France, and has seen how this city has treated it's citizen's it makes me wonder how far France has become like the good old USA where money rules our lives. When I see people living in the slums like in New York and wearing the same type of clothes like the do on the streets of South LA, instead of being this country I fell in love with many years ago my vision of France has totally changed and has become almost like an English government cold towards it's citizens or immigrants who reside there but are not born in the United Kingdom just like France. France and America has the same thing in common they want better times for their citizens, if in the from of peaceful protests or riots for equal pay and a better way of life for their family's. Without France giving better human rights for their citizens in their country, could we see as Americans and the rest of the world the greatest country in the world being destroyed by capitalism and hatred for years to come. ,

    August 12, 2015 at 2:01 am |

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