Weird and Obscure Protests that Have Occurred Around the World
Protests have the power to make change, give attention to important issues and bring people together. But what about the weird or obscure ones? Elizabeth Symington is here to tell you about some of the strangest protests to occur throughout history.
Brussels: Falling Milk Prices
In 2009 over 2500 farmers gathered outside the European Union Headquarters in Brussels to protest the falling milk prices. They drove tractors, burnt tyres and hay and even bought some cows along with them and covered the streets with their milk and manure. One cow was startled by a firecracker and chased someone down the street, while another farmer made use of the cows and sprayed police with milk directly from the cow’s udder. I believe chickens were involved at some point, too. This would have been wild to be a part of.
Israel: West Bank Barrier
In 2010, to protest the separation barrier in the West Bank Village that divides the Palestinian and Israeli communities, Palestinian protesters painted themselves blue, dressed in blue clothing and loincloths to look like the characters from James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar. They wanted to draw parallels between the struggles faced in the film and their community.
London: Shark Extinction
In 2008 artist and activist Alice Newstead pierced her back with giant fish hooks and hung herself from the ceiling of a boutique to protest the threat of extinction facing sharks. Through the demonstration, Newstead wanted to show how cruel the process of capturing, killing and finning sharks is. She was suspended in the shop’s window for 15 minutes and the stunt attracted a large crowd. The alarming thing is she did the same thing the following year in a shop in Paris. I don’t know the result of the initial protest but if she had to do it again, I think that shows it wasn’t very effective.
Chile: Education Costs Kissing Protest
In 2011 over 100 university students protested the rising costs and lowered standards of education by gathering in Santiago and kissing. “Love is free, education isn’t” was one of the main messages of the protest and the students stood outside the Metropolitan Cathedral and kissed in pairs. As absurd as this movement was it was actually pretty effective, resulting in the proposal of a new education fund.
Chile: Thriller Protest
In 2011 students organised another event to protest fairer education standards. Just like the protest mentioned above this one also occurred in Santiago, however, rather than kissing students dressed as characters from Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video and recreated the iconic choreography outside the palace of the president.
Argentina: Pots and Pans Protest
In 2012 thousands of people banged pots and pans and waved banners and flags in Argentina to protest their government’s policies. This protest was recreated in a number of other locations with other marches organised in notable locations including London, New York, Paris and our own Sydney. Protestors wanted to bring attention to issues surrounding political corruption, crime rates and various other things.
This list could go on forever, as there are so many weird and obscure protests that have occurred around the world.
Do you have a favourite protest? Let us know in the comments below.