Two weeks ago, Lukáš Botka, a 26-year-old graphic designer from Kolín, started an anti-Paroubek protest that has taken on a life of its own. More and more people are now going to pre-election events with cardboard egg cartons, and 34,000 people have joined a group on Facebook that supports throwing eggs at the ČSSD chairman.
On Monday, the muscular bodyguards (only party “supporters”, according to Social Democrats) swept Botka and his friend out of a rally in Litoměřice. Both were dressed as extraterrestrials because they wanted to remind Paroubek of his famous statement that he would not hesitate to unite even with the Martians.
Botka is not planning any more shenanigans for now. “I will take the Martians as a happy ending. What we wanted did happen: Many people are now demonstrating a certain political opinion that has been slumbering in them until now,” Botka said. “Martians have also learned that Paroubek is not able to stand when they appear at his meeting nonviolently,” he said. “He is nervous about everyone who’s a little different.”
On the other hand, Botka admits that throwing eggs at politicians is not a recreational activity that that should spread. At the very least because it’s not simply a good way to oppose someone else’s political opinion. “We’ve done it only once,” he said. “Now it has a life of its own.”
That first egg story from Kolín, however, also said something about Jiří Paroubek and his closest colleagues. When Hospodářské noviny broke the news two Thursdays ago that the chairman was hit by an egg at the meeting (and missed by tomatoes), Paroubek and other politicians intensively denied everything the whole day. Or they would say that they did not know about anything. Like, for example, the MEP Libor Rouček who was in Kolín and saw eggs being thrown but mysteriously did not know whether the eggs hit the party chairman – he was allegedly distributing roses and signatures at the time.
Social Democrats are now saying that the ODS started everything to harm the party before the elections. Botka just shakes his head. “If someone wants, I have no problem going to Wenceslas Square and saying publicly that I have nothing in common with ODS,” Botka said.