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Eggs, Ink, Shoes and Slaps: Curious Incidents of Politicians Facing Public Ire First-Hand

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French President Macron was slapped in the face by a citizen today during a visit.

A man in a crowd of onlookers slapped French President Emmanuel Macron in the face when he was on a walkabout in southern France on Tuesday. The incident was captured on video.

Macron was on a visit to the Drome region in southeastern France, where he met restaurateurs and students to talk about returning to a normal life after the COVID-19 epidemic. He reached out his hand to greet one man, in a green T-shirt, with glasses and a face mask. The man could be heard shouting out “Down with Macronia" (“A Bas La Macronie") and then he slapped Macron in the face.

However, this is not the first time a politician, or a public official has faced public wrath in the form of physical affronts. Here are some other examples:

Ink Attack on Somnath Bharti: Somnath Bharti, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was attacked with ink on Monday in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh, while he was inspecting government schools. According to news agency PTI, he was later arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with a case of unpleasant remarks he made against the state government.

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Bharti was seen talking to police officers outside the Irrigation Department’s guest house in a video released on Twitter by news agency ANI. As the debate progressed, a young man standing nearby pulled out a little bottle of ink and smeared it on Bharti’s face.

Ex-UK PM Scott Morrison Egged: While campaigning for the 2019 election in UK on May 6, 2019, a lady attempted to egg Prime Minister Scott Morrison, but it bounced off his head.

French Presidential Candidate Flour Bombed: On February 1, 2012, while campaigning for the presidential election in France, François Hollande was flour bombed in protest of the Socialist Party.

Bananas Tossed at Hong Kong Official: Raymond Wong Yuk-man, a Hong Kong legislator, tossed a bundle of bananas at Chief Executive Donald Tsang in 2008 to protest proposals to impose a means test for Old Age Allowance payments (colloquially known as “fruit money"). 

Purple Powder at Tony Blair: While arguing in the House of Commons in 2004, then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was pelted with purple-colored powder. 

Book Hurled at Obama: In 2010, the author of a paperback book threw it towards President Barack Obama in the hopes that he would read it.

Glitter Attack on Minnesota Governor: Members of Code Pink glitter bombed former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on June 16, 2011. Code Pink: Women for Peace is a left wing internationally active NGO.

Ink on Arvind Kejriwal: A woman splattered ink on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal when he was addressing a thanksgiving rally following the success of his government’s odd-even road-rationing formula at Chhatrasal Stadium in 2016. The woman, who appeared to be in her 20s, came close to the lectern when Kejriwal was delivering his speech and threw ink at him.

Shoe at George Bush: In December, 2008, during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Palace in Baghdad, Iraq, journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then United States President George W. Bush. “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog!" yelled al-Zaidi in Arabic as he threw his first shoe towards the U.S. president. “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq!" he shouted as he threw his second shoe. President Bush ducked twice, avoiding being hit by the shoes.

Block of Wood at Trump: In Palm Beach, Florida, on February 17, 2017, a middle school student threw a block of wood at President Donald Trump’s motorcade. 

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first published:June 08, 2021, 21:00 IST