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Friday, October 15, 2010

1,2,3... Attack! Cover Story - Us Magazine, TheNews International

1,2,3... Attack!

Cover Story

By Hamza Asad

Gone are the days when swords and arrows were used to spread terror. Guns, knives, tear gas and even burning tires have turned into old ways of protesting against something. The new weapons to express your revulsion at anything are eggs, shoes, plastic bottles and pies. These products seem to attract the people all over the world and more and more people are adopting these methods to display their hatred. Didn't we all feel the urge to do so at any point of our lives either to our bosses or to our teachers or to the nagging neighbours who always keep an eye on us so that they can spill the beans to our parents? Well, just imagine when the society has such detestation against the world leaders. It's then we get to encounter such unusual attacks. The shoe throwing spree, recently started by the Iraqi journalist Muntadar-al-Zeidi, has encouraged many others to express their disdain for the leaders they dislike. Hitting someone with a shoe is considered the ultimate humiliation in the Arab world. The trend is, however, no more limited to the Arabs, and has picked up pace in the other parts of the world. Of course, the West has modified it a bit to suit their aesthetics and added pies to the arsenal. While we, the people of the subcontinent, are quite comfortable with the use of eggs, tomatoes, potatoes etc to express our revulsion. In view of the latest wave of such attacks on the leading politicians of the world, Us, brings you a number of incomprehensible attacks on some of the most influential people from our past and present…

Be in my shoes

Shoe is the weapon of choice of the 21st Century's citizens, and is widely used to insult or protest against something or someone. Check out some of these astounding examples mentioned below:

The most famous shoe

Shoeing grabbed attention recently after an Iraqi shoe was thrown at the former US President George W. Bush during a press conference at Baghdad on December 14, 2008. Muntadar-al-Zeidi, an Iraqi journalist, hurled a pair of shoes at Bush as a farewell gift - a reminder for his unpopularity. "It was a size 10," Bush joked later. The price of these shoes on sale went above 10 million dollars after this incident. Also, 'The Bush Game' was later designed in which the winner was the one who threw maximum number of shoes at Bush in minimum time.

Slap, slap, slap!

The former Chief Minister of Sindh, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, was physically assaulted in the Provincial Assembly's corridors on 7th April 2008. He was beaten with shoes by a mob of PPP activists and his former servants.

Those who missed…

Lucky Sudanese

During a public meeting on 26th January 2009, a man threw a shoe at Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. However, he missed his intended target and was arrested by the security staff on the spot.

No shoe for the Chinese

On February 2, 2009, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was giving the 'Rede Lecture' at the University of Cambridge (London) on 'See China in the light of development'. As soon as he finished his lecture, a 27-year-old German, Martin Jahnke, stood from the audience and threw a shoe at Wen. The shoe, however, missed the target and landed a few feet away. The remaining audience shouted at Jahnke 'Shame on you' as he was taken out of the auditorium.

Just in vain

The Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, came under a vain shoe attack during an election rally on April 26, 2009. The attack was the reminiscent of another event in which the India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram was shoed by a Sikh journalist who asked him a question regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. This happened at the start of the same month of the same year. In both the cases the shoe missed its target, but left the impact.

Shoeing IMF

While addressing a university in Istanbul on October 1, 2009, the director of International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was shoed but it did not hit him and landed on the stage. The hall echoed with slogans of "Go away IMF, you're stealing money".

He was just intoxicated…

On February 22rd 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan survived a shoe attack in Seville, Spain. The shoe hit a bodyguard. The news agencies reported that the assailant was heavily intoxicated hence his act shouldn't be judged as his hatred towards the Turkish Premiere.

In his own land

The Chief Secretary for Administration in Hong Kong, Henry Tang, was shoed on 6th March 2010 at a Youth Summit in Chai Wan. The vain attack was attempted by a 31-year-old unemployed man who had been fired by a computer company.

With love… from Pakistanis

The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, has lately been ranked on the top of the shoe club as he had to face a pair of shoes being hurled at him by an aged Pakistani origin British citizen on 6th of August, 2010, while he was addressing Pakistani nationals in Birmingham. Mr Zardari was already being criticised for visiting Britain at the wrong time as the country suffered from the devastating floods. The popular view was that he should have been at home helping the ones in need instead of travelling abroad!

President Zardari got a shoe game under his name as well, following the legacy of George W. Bush. Later, the game was banned by the government and was removed from every possible website it could have been posted to.

The egg treatment

Egging is yet another source of protest for the common people. Let's check out some of the high-profiled people who have been egged.

Fist for an egg

Infamous for his short fuse, the former Deputy Prime Minister of UK, John Prescott was egged on 17th May 2001 at a Labour Party rally in North Wales. The incident is the most ardent example of Newton's third law of motion, because as soon as the protester hit the then PM with an egg, Prescott punched him badly and both started to fight until the protestor was arrested. So true… every action has an equal (and opposite) reaction.

The unpretending actor

One of the most highly influential legendary actors and the 38th governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was egged while walking onto the dice for his speech on September 4, 2003. The egg hit his shoulder and clearly dirtied his suit, Schwarzenegger pretended as nothing had really happened. Later, when he was questioned about this incident, he dismissed it as a part of free speech.

Let me speak!

The chairman of the British National Party and member of European Parliament for North West England, Nick Griffin, was awfully egged on 9 June, 2009 at a press conference. He had hardly spoken for few minutes when the protestors began to pelt him with eggs. Griffin was forced to abandon the conference.

Campaigning for… eggs??

After a Q & A session at Cornwall College Saltash, on April 21 this year, the Prime Minister of UK, David Cameron, was hit by an egg. The successful strike was attempted by a young student who was arrested and then quickly released after police established he did not have any more 'weapons' with him.

A source of ridicule

The President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukoyych, was hit with an egg during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections. The then candidate was taken to the hospital right after this incident as the government officials claimed he was hit with a brick. This confusion became a source of ridicule later.

In another incident, the chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn, was egged on April 27, 2010 by the deputies as protest against the bill saying that the Russian navy would be allowed to stay in the waters of Ukraine for 32 years more. The egg throwing became so rampant that Lytvyn had to open an umbrella to guard him from the eggs being thrown at him from every direction.

Duck Steve Ballmer, duck!

Steve Ballmer, the CEO of a multi-billion dollar software company - Microsoft, was egged on May 19, 2008 at Hungarian University. Just when he had started his speech, Ballmer was forced to duck and hide behind the desk by an angry graduate who threw eggs at him. The student wore a "Microsoft = corruption" T-shirt, and yelled: "Give back the money of the taxpayers".

The food combat

Pie in Gates' face

The entrepreneur of personal computer revolution and consistently ranked as the wealthiest man in the world for the past one and a half decade, the one and only, Bill Gates, was struck in the face with a pie on February 4, 1998. Gates was on a visit to Brussels, Belgium, to meet the European Union officials. As he was entering the building to deliver his speech, Noel Godin, an anarchist, struck Gates' face with a cream pie and succeeded to escape. He later appeared on television to take responsibility of the prank. Gates, who doesn't even like to be touched by a stranger, was very angry over this unexpected incident.

The fierce ones

Peace process goes down

One finds it truly bizarre how an ordinary Sri Lankan naval cadet assaulted the former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, with the wooden end of his rifle. This unpleasant incident took place on July 30th 1987, in Colombo while Mr. Gandhi was receiving the guard of honour. The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord resulted in a great setback after this assault.

Not a punching bag!

On 12th August 2009, Turkish Premier, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was to deliver a speech in the province of Trabzon (Turkey) when all of a sudden a citizen came close to him and punched him badly in the stomach. Erdogan screamed with pain. The assaulter was immediately arrested but later released when he explained that the attack was an accident.

The Italian job

The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was severely attacked on December 13, 2009. Berlusconi was punched in the face by an angrily disturbed citizen in a rally. 73–year-old Berlusconi suffered broken teeth, a minor nose injury and cuts on his lips. His face was covered with blood and so he was admitted to the hospital for a week to recover.

Woah! Close call!

Camera attack

Previously, the Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi was assaulted in Rome on the occasion of New Year's Eve 2004. The PM was at a rally in Piazza Navona when a tourist visiting Rome, struck him with a camera. The attack, however, didn't cause any harm nor did it draw much importance.

Use of bottle

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the Charles Fauqueux High School in Beauvais on 25th May 2010 to discuss violence in French schools when suddenly a school boy threw a plastic bottle (filled with water) at him, but failed to hit the target as a body guard came in between to defend the French President.

Just a shove

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, arrived at Maori Memorial at Waitangi for the celebration of National Day on February 5, 2009 when he was shoved and jostled by two protestors. Both of them were arrested by the police. Key said he was "quite shocked" by the incident.