On Friday morning, a giant Syrian flag stained with fake blood briefly hung under the legs of the Eiffel Tower. Two men climbed construction scaffolding under the tower to attach the flag, as about a dozen protesters decried Bashar al-Assad’s regime down below.
When the men came back down to the ground, they were quickly taken into custody by the police. One of the men was Ismael Hashem, the president of an organisation called France Syria Democracy. Wearing a “Free Syrian Army” T-shirt, he briefly spoke to the gathered cameras as he was led to a police car.
Video courtesy of Celine Lussato/Le Nouvel Observateur.
Eleven seconds into the video, Hashem says: “They’re bombarding civilians (…) The international community isn’t doing anything about this. It’s shameful (…) Do something – set up a no-fly zone, at least! Stop this massacre! It’s not normal that they’re bombarding civilians and that we’re just watching this on TV.”
Though this stunt led to the Eiffel Tower’s evacuation, many tourists applauded the protesters.