“The Olympic Games are Macron’s pride and joy,” said one of the protesters. – So, this is a way to sting him.

PARIS, France โ€” Retired and with time to kill, Bernard Gavin wants to volunteer at Olympic Games 2024 – But bad.

His goal is not to help, but to silence the Olympic machine by refusing to show up for work. If enough others do the same, he hopes they will sting the VVIP who will win if the Paris Games are a triumphant success: French President Emmanuel Macron.

The 68-year-old former agricultural consultant in the south of France is among a group of Olympic opponents who call themselves “non-volunteers”. In addition, he is against Macron – the president has been on fire for several months storm of French protest with unpopular pension reforms โ€” anti-Olympic Trojans are working to infiltrate and then derail next year’s Paris Games by signing up as volunteers, pretending to be willing to help superfans if they want.

Their covert operation and other Olympic controversies that have erupted online and are beginning to spill onto French streets underscore the growing risk that the Paris Games will find themselves embroiled in unabated public anger against Macron for raising France’s retirement age. from 62 to 64. Efforts by Macron’s opponents to link the protests to otherwise smooth and low-key preparations for the Olympics raise the possibility that the Games themselves could suffer demonstrations and strikes when the rage rages unceasingly in 2024.


Until now, protests against preparations for the Olympics have been small and sporadic. Olympic organizers say poll shows strong support for Games that will showcase Paris recovery attacks by the Islamic State group. that killed 130 people on November 13, 2015. Athletes will compete against TV backgrounds of iconic landmarks in the French capital the first Olympics in a century.

Other numbers also suggest that opponents remain in the minority. Four million applicants signed up for last ticket draw. Organizers also say more than 200,000 candidates have put themselves forward 45,000 volunteers who work without pay at the biggest sporting event in the world generates billions from sponsors, broadcast rights, ticket sales and merchandise. The deadline for volunteers is Wednesday.

But somewhere in the pile are applications from Gaven and others who want to hinder, not help.

Although Macron has passed the law on raising the retirement age, having used his executive powers to stymie legislators without giving them the right to vote, Gavin is one of many in France who is not giving up the fight. Demonstrators follow Macron and his ministers as they walk around the country clatter of pots and pans. And some use the Olympics to keep up the pressure. There are hashtags on the internet saying that the Games should not take place if the pension reform remains.

“We don’t want to turn the page,” said Clara Jaboulet, who organized one such demonstration outside a swimming club famous for training Olympians in Marseille. Prime is a Mediterranean port city Olympic football matches and sailing competitions in 2024. About a dozen protesters unfurled a banner reading “No Withdrawal, No Olympics,” on which five cooking pots were drawn in the shape of the Olympic rings.

“The Olympic Games bring our country into the spotlight. We must show that the population does not feel represented by this government,” Zhabulei said.

Gaven said it took him 45 minutes to complete the online Paris Games volunteer registration form, which includes a 180-question individualized test. If chosen, he says: “I will tell them an hour before that I will not come.”

“The Olympics are Macron’s pride and joy,” he said. “So this is a way to sting him.”

Since he announced his intentions on Twitter, garnering more than 9,000 likes and retweets, Gaven admits he is now unlikely to be selected. But other “non-volunteers,” who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize their chances, hope they will be chosen so they can put the keys to work. In their opinion, the Olympics are socially and financially and environmentally destructive and that the police around them are eroding civil liberties.

They consider many possibilities: not showing up to leave the organizers empty-handed; appears, but works poorly and slowly; unfurling banners along the Olympic perimeter; diversionary equipment; using the opportunity to lobby other volunteers; or go to an employment tribunal after claiming they should have been paid for their help. Gaven even mentioned that some people suggest taping the doors of the playgrounds.

“There are thousands of ways to disrupt, to protest,” Gaven said. “To each his own imagination.”


Alexandre Morenon-Conde, director of the Paris Games’ volunteer program, says he’s confident their selection process “will allow us to be sure of the sincerity of the people” and that if volunteers drop out, there will be backups “who will be happy to join. ยป

“We have a certain number of methods that allow us to be sure that the people who join the volunteer program are the most committed, the most in line with our values,” Morenan-Conde said. A self-described “absolute Games fan”, he volunteered at the 2004 Athens Olympics and says the experience “changed my life”.

The organizers of the games are also working with unions leading demonstrations and strikes against Macron’s pension reform. The representative of the union on the executive board of the organizers of Paris, Bernard Thibault, is a veteran of the labor. He expects public anger at Macron to “evolve one way or another” in the run-up to the Games, and he doesn’t expect protests to disrupt the event.

Unless, of course, the French president does something else to infuriate his opponents Opening ceremony on July 26.

“I can’t imagine President Macron releasing a new project or a new law that would make a big fuss in the country a month or two before the Olympics, to the point of provoking another earthquake,” Thibault said. “If that was the case, then nothing could be guaranteed.”


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