Photo: Gurgen Bakhshetyan/Shutterstock

Parisians Threaten an Olympics 'Poop Protest' by Encouraging Locals to Poop in the Seine

Paris Travel
by Katie Scott Aiton Jun 12, 2024

“This might be the single most hilarious way of protesting I’ve ever seen,” says Dylan Page in his viral TikTok explainer on the Paris “poop protest.” Page isn’t wrong. France is going for gold with protests against the rocketing cost of the Olympics, and when you get a reminder about how much taxpayer money goes into hosting the Games, you might be onboard with defecating in public.

The French are elite gold medalist at protesting 😂

♬ original sound – Dylan Page

“The Olympics is kinda a scam when it comes to making money,” says Page. “When China hosted, they made a net loss of $36.4 billion, and London made a net loss of $13 billion.”

The exact cost of the 2024 Olympics is still being determined, but estimates suggest it will reach upwards of $9.7 billion. The insane financial burden is a severe concern for many French citizens, who worry it will divert resources away from social programs and public services.

Of course, Macron’s spending habits are the target of this frustration, but so is the wild budget for cleaning up The Seine River — the centerpiece for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games.

For decades, swimming in the river has been a no-go due to pollution. But with the Olympics on the horizon, the French government pledged a significant sum, around $1.5 billion, to transform the Seine into a venue for open-water swimming events. Macron has also publicly stated he’ll take a celebratory swim himself to prove its cleanliness.

Parisians question whether the river can truly be sanitized to the level required for athlete safety, and they scoff at the prioritization of Olympic glory over more pressing social issues. So, in true French fashion, they are planning to protest.

The social media campaign “#JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin” (“I Poop in the Seine on June 23rd”) is building momentum, as is the website where people from outside of Paris can type in how many miles they are from the city, and using a water flow algorithm, it will tell them the day and time when they need to poo into their river to reach Paris in time for Marcon’s swim.

The protest reflects a broader sentiment in France. And while the “poop protest” might seem shocking, it will grab attention and spark a conversation about the high costs and potential drawbacks of hosting the Olympics.

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