Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Protestors for Hire

Fresh in from this morning’s BBC News:

Germans put price on protesting

They refuse to rally for neo-Nazis, but as long as the price is right a new type of German mercenary will take to the streets and protest for you.

Young, good-looking, and available for around 150 euros (£100), more than 300 would-be protesters are marketing themselves on a German rental website.

They feature next to cars, DVDs, office furniture and holiday homes.

For some, these protesters show how soulless life has become. For others, they breathe new life into old causes.

Staging a protest

Their descriptions read like those on a dating site.

I would like to point out that not all protests will tally with my own point of view and I would like to distance myself from these
Demonstrators’ disclaimer

Next to a black and white posed picture, Melanie lists her details from her jeans size to her shoe size and tells potential protest organisers that she is willing to be deployed up to 100km around Berlin.

Six hours of Melanie bearing your banner or shouting your slogan will set you back 145 euros.

A spokesperson for erento.com was unable to say how many demonstrators had been booked since the service was launched earlier this month, but that there had certainly been demand.

Organisations using the service are unlikely to reveal themselves, keen to pass off their protesters as genuine supporters of the cause. But German media reported a Munich march had hired protesters because its own adherents were too old to stand for hours waving banners.

Erento.com stresses that no protester needs to offer their services to a cause they object to, and therefore many may genuinely believe in the protest they are joining.

But the fact they are paid has perturbed a number of commentators in Germany, especially those who remember the passion-fuelled protests of 1968.

“It seems to confirm the increasingly common assumption,” wrote one, “that democracy is for sale”.

My Comment:
What would such a service look like in Kuwait?
“Will protest for Gucci?”
“Available for the right cell phone?”
“Protestors available in designer abayas?”

Or would they all be brought in from the Phillipines, Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh, contracted in multiples of 100?

January 24, 2007 - Posted by | Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Germany, Kuwait, News, Political Issues, Random Musings, Social Issues, Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. tee hee hee. during the Lebanese intifada in spring 2005 (the US termed it the Cedar Revolution) there was a joke about the protesters that went around Syria (thank you, M., for passing it on to me!). It went like this:

    Did you hear about the protest yesterday in Achrafieh [snooty, aggressively Christian neighborhood in East Beirut]?

    Yes. The Lebanese women all drove up in their SUVs, and their maids got out, carrying signs and placards. While the lubneiniyat chatted on their mobiles, the maids marched up and down, saying:

    “Madame Wants Syria Out”.

    🙂 My pro-March 14 Lebanese friends call it a very lame joke.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | January 24, 2007 | Reply

  2. 145 Euros for walking around and holding a banner!! That’s insane! Wouldn’t be easier AND more cost-effective to pay a PR FIRM! This is just rediculous. I can’t beleive these people actually get hired.

    Comment by 1001Nights | January 24, 2007 | Reply

  3. Protests CAN be effective – we have seen it. In my opinion, what makes them effective is the passionate belief of the protester. I can’t believe you can hire a person’s passion. (Please, no bad jokes here)

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 24, 2007 | Reply


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