Monday, June 07, 2004

Crashing the Anti-American Demonstration in Paris

When, on the eve of the anniversary of the Normandy landings, an anti-American demonstration saunters throught the streets of the capital of "America's first friend in the world," what's a disgruntled blogger to do? Specifically, how would a Danish-American blogger react, especially if he's accompanied by a German-American blogger and three French comrades-in-arms?

How about waiting until the photographers and cameramen are ready to snap away at the grumpy bigwigs at the front of the procession, whipping out Old Glory and a sign saying "Sometimes the cowboy is right" (and "We are all Americans" on the other side), jumping in front of their lenses, and breaking out in (patriotic) song?

(Photos by Medienkritik's Ray)






















O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
"High five, pinko!""Bon, ça suffit comme ça, Monsieur!"
Security guy: "J'emmène l'Américain. … Non, il est plutôt docile, il a pas l'air dangereux."
L'Américain: "…Above the fruited plain!"
Far from the Madding Crowd
Checkpoint Charlie: the handover"Non, Monsieur. You are not under arrest.
Zis is for your own good."
A final gesture of defiance

Watch the video (sound not too good)

The aftermath

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Excellent!
    Bravo!
    Keep up the good work guys!

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  2. Anonymous8:50 PM

    Thank you!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Erik

    I'll keep my congratulations simple and to the point:



    Your balls clank.



    Joe in DC

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous1:27 AM

    I find this quite funny if it wasn't from all these other blogs where people react once again like french really are assholes. None has read the post all the way trough and they are all now starting this myth about an arrestation and people in France not being tolerant.

    I'm pretty sure if I was to assist to a pro-bush rally in Washington, placing myself right where everybody could see me, started singing "la marseillaise" outloud and wore a sign saying something like "save the world, vote kerry!" I'd be in jail by now... And perhaps I would have gotten beaten up by security...

    I think it definitely was for your security these cops pulled u out of there.

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  5. Anonymous2:10 AM

    Oh please...American security does not trouble themselves with arresting or beating-up backstabbers even ones who carry signs saying things like 'We Love NYC even more without the World Trade Center' much less those who chant 'vote for Kerry, save the world'

    I would venture to guess that if one of these guys had even whispered 'vote for Bush save the world' that day in Paris, some throats would have been slit.

    The French are tolerant of everyone except their liberators.

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  6. Anonymous11:58 AM

    Le mec qui défilait avec sa petite pancarte (discrète) pro-US ressemble furieusement à Daniel Cohn-Bendit : étranger, le visage un peu poupin, rouquin, enragé...

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  7. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Excellent work, Erik, congrats.

    from another Danish-American

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fantastic Eric. If you ever have the inkling to do something similar here in Geneva, count me in!!

    Chris Hebert

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  9. Anonymous3:27 AM

    Cheers and an excellent job. It is strange that in a sea of screaming and chanting people, we find ourselves, waving a flag and singing a song, to be the one looked upon as a beligerent, and thrown out.
    We've been also in the same line of work.
    bruder
    www.anti-com.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Anonymous

    "I find this quite funny if it wasn't from all these other blogs where people react once again like french really are assholes."

    I am one American who doesn't forget I am free because France came to our aid in our Revolution, and who is profoundly grateful for Voltaire, Stendhal, and many others who have been France’s gift to mankind. I would be honored to fight for her again, just as my father did, if she were in real trouble.

    "I'm pretty sure if I was to assist to a pro-bush rally in Washington, placing myself right where everybody could see me, started singing "la marseillaise" outloud and wore a sign saying something like "save the world, vote kerry!" I'd be in jail by now... And perhaps I would have gotten beaten up by security..."

    If that’s what you really think I suggest you come to the U.S. and try it. Tickets from Paris to Washington are cheap, and there is some kind of a demonstration there virtually every day. You’ve lost touch with reality, probably from reading too many French newspapers. I’ve seen many demonstrations in the U.S., and have never seen anyone arrested just for counter-demonstrating. For example, shortly after the war began, I was at a big "Support the Troops," rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There were about 12,000 demonstrators, most of them very much "pro-Bush." During the rally, a group of about ten counter-demonstrators opposed to the war moved right into the main body of the rally, and tried to push their way to the front, right past the police. Several people shouted at them, but they were not physically molested in any way. The police simply told them to stop pushing towards the front, and formed a line between them and the rest of the demonstration. There were no arrests, no beatings, or even any threats of arrests or beatings. Counter-demonstrators are common at demonstrations in the U.S., and this is what happens virtually all the time, in spite of the lurid horror stories you read in the European media. The Harrisburg rally was the biggest one in the U.S. that weekend, by the way. In spite of that, peace demonstrations that had taken place at the same time in various places were reported much more prominently in all our major newspapers and on TV, including on the "infamous" Foxnews. You can confirm this by visiting their website.

    "I think it definitely was for your security these cops pulled u out of there."

    A nice theory, but a little at variance with reality. The cops obviously didn’t limit themselves to warning Erik, or "pulling him out of there," which is how the situation would almost invariably have been handled in the U.S. Ray, who was simply taking pictures of the action, was collared by the police when they were already far from the action, and in no danger from the demonstrators.

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  11. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Priceless. Thank you for the images.

    As for the French gentleman who thinks he would get collared if doing the equivalent in DC -- he is wrong. Europeans who think the US is like Europe are wrong. Not only are they wrong, but they are deliberately stupid. They can see daily that most of our press -- metaphorically speaking -- lowers its pants and farts in the face of our government, yet they insist on a childish fantasy that the government has some sort of control over American opinions and press. I spent a fruitless month in Europe arguing with idiots of this ilk who thought surely I simply had failed to hear the truth because I lived in America.

    To this gentleman and all others who think that their country's petty attitudes are in any way similar to American openness, I say -- grow up!

    And to people like you who disrupt their cozy, smug self image -- Bless you. Keep up the good work.

    My only quibble would be -- shouldn't you have sung The Star Spangled Banner? By far the better song, even if more difficult. OTOH America the Beautiful has the advantage of repeating AMERICA again and again, so the non-bilingual French or those pretending not to understand English cannot avoid knowing what it's all about. So maybe you had a point.

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  12. Anonymous4:45 AM

    Even Noam Chomsky will tell you that the US is the most open and free country on earth--heard him say it myself--but of course "speech" is not central to his main thesis--that even if we did hear the truth we are too brainwashed to recognize it. You really can say almost anything here, no matter how stupid or how offensive.

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