Anti-World Cup activists zapping TV broadcasts of matches in French pubs

© AFP - JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK

A group of French activists protesting against the holding of the World Cup in Qatar is using home-made remote controls to switch off pub television screens in the middle of the football matches.

French football supporters, gathered in a bar in Paris on Tuesday night, were surprised when the television showing the match against Australia suddenly went blank.

Nothing wrong with the power supply – just a touch of sabotage.

"This is our way of showing 'peaceful resistance' to the world," Dan Geiselhart, one the organizers of the "direct action" told Le Parisien daily.

He had just turned off the television remotely using a device known as a "TV-B-Gone", invented by the hacker Mitch Altman. The box incorporates the signals of nearly 160 brands of television and works from 45 metres away.

The model was designed at the Recyclérie, a creative workshop in Paris, as part of a project initiated by Geiselhart.

Geiselhart does not encourage confrontation, but insists on the need for dialogue with the fans in the bar when a match is interrupted by the remote control.

Making a point

He says the television can be quickly turned back on once the activists' point has been made.

Nicolas, who also learned how to make the modified remote controls, says he's boycotting the World Cup matches but is reluctant to impose his choice on others.


Read more on RFI English

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