July 15, 2003

Head-Cracking Good Time Had by All

One of the amusing incidents on the Tour was today's demonstration. Anti-globalization protestors lay down on the road in front of the peloton. They were followers of Jose Bove, who became a hero in some quarters for demolishing a McDonald's and destroying genetically modified crops.

According to the BBC, their tactic may backfire: "... correspondents say the Tour de France protest may lose him public support because of the cost of precious time and points to riders in France's premier sporting event."

What's the French for "Oops"? (Could it be houp-là which believe it or not is in Karl Marx's writings? And which my nominally bilingual father used to say when he flipped us up in the air as kids.)

What was interesting was to see on TV how rapidly the French paramilitary police swooped in to yank them out of the way. These guys are big, tough and serious. You sometimes see them in Paris at particularly sensitive locations. My guess is that there is some pretty serious muscle hovering around the Tour that you never get to see in the pretty pretty pictures.

Every so often when Lance is being interviewed, you can see some guys that look like the "other type of biker" (if you know what I mean) hovering very near him. They look like they would bend a bicycle around your head if necessary.

Posted by campbell at July 15, 2003 07:10 PM | TrackBack

Ahhh, the CRS, the strong arm of the Republic... Well, at least when it comes to beating protestors...

Posted by: Paul Jané at July 16, 2003 12:25 AM