Paris residents are planning to poop in the Seine en masse tomorrow to protest poor water conditions ahead of Olympics

News & Politics

A group of Paris residents is planning a mass protest that could only be found in France: protesters plan to conduct a giant, simultaneous session of pooping in the Seine River to protest water conditions ahead of the summer olympics.

The protests are apparently the result of public dissatisfaction with the government’s progress in a $1.5 billion project designed to clean up the river ahead of the 2024 summer games, which will be held in Paris. The government promised to make the river swimmable before the start of the Olympics in late July. In fact, both Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo promised to go for a swim in the Seine prior to the Olympics to prove that it is safe.

Thus far, however, plans to clean up the Seine have mostly been a failure by all accounts. Companies that have sampled the river at various points have found that the river continues to contain “alarming” level of bacteria from sewage and other sources, including “alarming levels of bacteriological pollution at the Alexandre III Bridge,” where the swimming portion of the triathlon event and marathon swimming event are scheduled to begin.

In apparent frustration with the government’s progress, an unidentified provocateur set up a website using the hashtag, which has since gone viral, “#JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin” which translates into a somewhat more vulgar version of, “I pooped in the Seine on June 23rd.” The website asks protesters to join because, “after putting us in sh*t it’s up to them to bathe in our sh*t.”

The anonymous person behind the website told local outlet ActuParis, “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.”

The French struggles with water quality are not new to the Olympics, The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were plagued by problems with unsanitary conditions and pollution, leading to advisories to visiting athletes to stay out of the water to protect their health and safety.

Local officials in France have blamed the Seine’s poor water quality on unusually high rainfall, which they say has deteriorated the water quality. They also claim they were planning to activate additional disinfection facilities ahead of the games that would increase water quality.

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