National Geographic Photo of the Day

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A lesser-known throw

While we're all on the topic of shoe-throwing, there's a lesser known (and heavily censored in China) throw that slipped past a bit unnoticed.

The Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was on a three-day visit to the UK and he had signed several trade agreements with the British PM Gordon Brown. The incident occurred during his speech at the University of Cambridge to a select group of students (mainly Chinese). As you can see in the videos below, a man with a German accent stood up at the back of the audience and shouted, “How can the university prostitute itself with this dictator?”

While he continued, “How can you listen to these lies?”, security guards converged on him. Before they could get him though, he let fly a heavy grey trainer. It landed a few feet away from Wen. (Damn it, missed the politician AGAIN!!!)

Police in Cambridge said that a 27-year-old man, Martin Jahnke (a German national) had been charged with a public order offence and would appear in court the next week and he faced a maximum fine of 5000 pounds and six months in prison if convicted.

The audience shouted at the man "Get out", "Shame on you" while Jahnke was led away. Do note, the audience was mainly of Chinese origin. Mr. Wen however merely termed the incident as "despicable". He later urged leniency for the man who'd thrown the shoe.

A demonstrator also threw an egg when the premier arrived for an engagement in London at the weekend. I couldn't find a video of the egg though.

Check out the videos of the shoe-throw below:

Wen Jiabao's reaction to the throw - doesn't show the shoe, but you can hear it when it hits.

This video shows you the protester shouting at the Chinese Premier and being escorted out of the hall.


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