Need a job in these hard times? How about becoming a “protest consultant”? Whe WSJ describes the career of Parisian Xavier Renou, who for $67 a head will teach you how to protest against capitalism.
As one of France’s top protest consultants, Mr. Renou teaches activists how to chain themselves to trees, damage genetically modified crops and withstand police interrogations. These days, his phone is ringing off the hook, as the tumult in the global financial system has led to a boom in protests. … Despite a surge in demand for his services, Mr. Renou, 35 years old, is struggling to capitalize on the travails of capitalism. He charges students as much as €50 ($67) a head in his weekend protest course, writes books and has produced board games with left-wing themes.
Still, he says, it’s hard to make a living from protest. And fighting big business requires real cash outlays.
“I want out of capitalism,” he says, adding, “We are always in a bit of precarious financial situation.”
He can always give his lessons for free. Oh wait …
Despite all the activity, Mr. Renou’s work is not lucrative. Officially unemployed since leaving Greenpeace, he no longer receives state benefits. The money raised at his seminars barely covers the cost of travel and food. He says raising the price of the seminars would be ethically wrong. He and his girlfriend are moving out of Paris soon to live more cheaply.
Mr. Renou has already widened his range of clients, particularly to growth areas such as “Free Tibet” activism. This week, Mr. Renou is teaching wheelchair-bound protesters how to demonstrate for more state aid.
What if they run out of money for state aid? The answer is simple: just raise taxes.