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Why Protesters Threw Two Tons of French Fries on This City Hall

There’s truly no greater form of civil disobedience than dumping a massive amount of delightful French fries all over of your oppressor’s front doorway.
Photo via Flickr user Dana McMahan

See you never, megaphones and poster board. Hit the bricks, old school sit-ins. Don't call us, we'll call you, flaming trash can violently tossed through pizzeria window.

We're here to say that there's truly no greater form of civil disobedience than dumping a massive amount of delightful French fries all over of your oppressor's front doorway. (Look into your hearts—you know it to be true.)

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That's the position we've found ourselves taking after hearing about a group of pomme frite vendors in the Belgian city of Ghent, who dumped two tons of frozen French fries all over city hall in what is surely the single most glorious form of protest this world has ever seen. We all know just how critical protest is to true democracy, but being able to eat your protest afterwards would turn even the most milquetoast of citizens into a bona fide Che Guevara.

Frituuroorlog bereikt kookpunt in Gent #destandaard

— De Standaard (@destandaard) June 7, 2016

The unusual form of protest is the result of a building dispute over the leases to French fry kiosks in the Dutch-Belgian city. You see, the old rule was that owners of pomme frite kiosks would have a right of first refusal to renew the leases for their stands. If they didn't exercise that right, there would then be an auction for the lease. Following the auction, the current owner could decide to retain the lease after all, by paying 5 percent over the highest bid. In other words, the French fry sellers had first and last dibs on their leases.

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But Ghent recently changed its rules to a more laissez-faire market approach. Now, when the leases come up for renewal, whoever bids the highest gets the lease. Period. The pomme frite purveyors are not pleased with this new legislation and so have expressed themselves by dumping their wares on city hall. As reported by De Standaard, the vendors have already lost two cases against local authorities in their bid to overturn the legislation.

Even if the intrepid pomme frite peddlers aren't successful in their quest, at least they will have the satisfaction of knowing that city hall will likely reek of French fries for some time to come. And when government figures finally break under the constant exposure to the tantalizing aroma, there's only one place in town they can turn to.