The right to peaceful protest is a cornerstone of any democracy. But when a government tries to impede on its people’s inalienable right to sell delicious, deep-fried potatoes, sometimes more drastic measures are in order.
French fry vendors in Ghent, Belgium were so upset with new legislation concerning their businesses that that they took to the streets this week, covering the steps of their city hall with two tons of frozen fries.
According to Mashable, the issue arose over the leases for the business owners’ kiosks. Traditionally, the leases were auctioned off with a stipulation that the most recent owner could retain the his territory by paying 5 percent more than the highest bidder. The new legislation, however, removes this stipulation, and gives the lease to the highest bidder, period.
In Belgium, where people have been cooking their potatoes to a crisp since the 17th century, vendors live by the fry, and die by the fry. Frustrated with the legislative changes, and fearing that they might lose their stands, the business owners chose to protest the only way they knew how. The potato slingers dumped a massive amount of fries on the front stoop of the government building, and city employees could later be seen cleaning the delicious mess up with shovels.
There's no word yet on whether Ghent lawmakers will reverse their decision, but hopefully the French fry vendors will continue fighting for what they believe in. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.