Jun 9, 2009

But is it Violence?


Last week, someone threw an egg at Czech Social Democratic Party leader Jiri Paroubek. Ok they threw lots of eggs. Opponents had been stalking Paroubek for quite some time, scored several misses, and finally managed to hit him with a good salvo despite -- get this -- police protection against egg attack. While this would be a mild embarrassment for anyone, it was nothing that a quick shower and a new shirt couldn’t fix.

Paroubek’s response? Why he threatened to pelt any journalist who reported the story with the same indignity (egg attack). This practically guaranteed that a passing story would jump from the back pages of the Czech press and crack into the international arena.

"After the elections, I will take a basket of eggs and come to your newsroom and throw them at you," Paroubek said.

Mission accomplished. Now the whole world is talking about it.

Turns out, the Czechs take their egg throwing seriously. So seriously, that it’s now on par with terrorism and ethnic cleansing. “An egg thrown at a politician has always been a symbol. But this is no longer a symbolic expression of disagreement. This is political violence,” said Tomas Lebeda of Palacky University.

To review…

--Political violence in Tajikistan: civil war.
--Political violence in Iraq: bomb.
--Political violence in the former Yugoslavia: ethnic cleansing.
--Political violence in the Czech Republic: throwing an egg.

At least in the Czech Republic, no-body has to die.

2 comments:

Leopolis said...

In case you didn't know, egg throwing was one of the key turning points of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFAt-43woGQ

Then he went on TV to say that such actions were the work of "nationalism, which is a sickness."

A few weeks later, Tymo was pelted and check out her response:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECMmo1XzGT0

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