Paris Olympics Poop Protest, Explore All Details

Parisians, frustrated by the significant expense of cleaning the River Seine ahead of the 2024 Olympics, have threatened to defecate in the river in protest. The protest, rallying under the hashtag #JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin, which translates to “I shit in the Seine on 23 June,” highlights growing discontent among residents.

Mayor’s Delayed Dip

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, 64, who is married to Jean-Marc Germain and has one child, initially planned to swim in the Seine on Sunday to demonstrate the river’s cleanliness. However, she postponed the event until after the French elections in July. President Emmanuel Macron has also committed to swimming in the Seine before the Games but has not specified a date. Hidalgo, whose net worth is estimated at €1.5 million, faces criticism for prioritizing Olympic preparations over pressing social issues.

High Cost and Public Anger

More than €1.4 billion (£1.2 billion) has been allocated to make the Seine safe for swimming, with triathlon and open water swimming events scheduled for the river. Despite this investment, a report released on Friday indicated the water remains too polluted for swimming, just over five weeks before the first triathlon event. Water samples revealed high levels of two types of fecal bacteria, including E.coli, failing to meet Olympic standards, according to Paris region prefect Marc Guillaume.

Social Issues Ignored

The protest’s anonymous organizer, speaking to Actu Paris, articulated the public’s frustration: “The problem is that all the resources that have been invested have not been to resolve all the social problems we have at the moment. We have the feeling of being abandoned. We see where their priority was.” Many Parisians feel neglected as funds are funneled into Olympic preparations rather than addressing pressing social issues.

Controversial Olympic Preparations

Various aspects of the Olympic preparations have sparked controversy. Residents face increased transport costs during the Games, and homeless encampments have been cleared, leading to accusations that France is trying to “hide poverty.” Furthermore, students have been displaced to make room for Olympic workers, adding to the growing discontent.

Environmental Concerns

The report on the Seine’s water quality underscores the environmental challenges Paris faces in hosting the Olympics. Despite extensive efforts and significant financial investment, the river remains contaminated, raising concerns about the health and safety of athletes. The persistent pollution problem highlights the broader issue of urban water management and the difficulty of balancing environmental and social priorities.

Public Reaction

Public reaction to the cleanup efforts and the planned protests has been mixed. Some residents support the protest as a means to draw attention to neglected social issues, while others view it as counterproductive and potentially damaging to the city’s reputation. The hashtag #JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin has gained traction on social media, reflecting the widespread discontent among Parisians.

Future Implications

The controversy surrounding the Seine cleanup and the broader Olympic preparations could have lasting implications for Paris. The city’s handling of these issues will likely influence public opinion and voter behavior in the upcoming elections. Additionally, the outcome of the cleanup efforts will impact Paris’s ability to host future international events and its reputation as a global city.


The protest over the River Seine cleanup underscores the tension between Olympic preparations and addressing social issues in Paris. As the city prepares to host the 2024 Olympics, the growing discontent among residents highlights the need for a more balanced approach to urban development and resource allocation. The delayed swim by Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the continued pollution of the Seine serve as stark reminders of the challenges Paris faces in its quest to present a clean and welcoming environment for the Games.

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