April 4th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Protesters disrupt first lady's trip

First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at Rohan Palace on April 4 in Strasbourg, France.

First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at Rohan Palace on April 4 in Strasbourg, France.

STRASBOURG, France (CNN) - Protesters in Strasbourg, France, forced a last-minute detour for First Lady Michelle Obama Saturday.

She and spouses of other leaders attending the NATO summit there had planned to tour a hospital. But protests blocked the way to the event, the first lady’s office said, prompting the visit to be scrapped.

Instead, France’s first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, met Mrs. Obama and the other spouses for a tour of the Palais Rohan. They then resumed their planned schedule with a visit to Strasbourg’s Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. John

    Protestors in Strasbourg? Let me guess...

    Spoiled European workers upset because they want a 25 hour work week, 3 hour lunch breaks, 3 months paid vacation, subsidized child and health care, and a 100% salary pension plan?

    Pfffft, Europe.

    April 4, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Mike from Texas

    Shameful actions on the part of protesters, the French Police failed thank God no one was hurt especially our first lady had she gotten injured we here in the US would have been really PO with the French People.

    April 4, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Colleen

    We don't even know what they were protesting.

    April 4, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Cheryl

    Anytime there is a political event that receives major news coverage you are guaranteed there will be protests. It is the only opportunity for protesters to get the spotlight. It is not an attack on the first ladies personally.

    Pam in Eugene OR, to go back to boycotting anything French because of the actions of such a tiny minority of the French population is ridiculous. We don't even know how many of these protesters were French, they could have come to Strasbourg from all over Europe. And they would have been out in full force no matter who the G-20 leaders and their spouses were.

    April 4, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. flybyshoeing

    Lauren, who hear wrong, (of course you do) Merrill Lynch did not receive a bailout. They were taken over by Band of America on Janurary 1,2009. Merrill paid there bonuses in December. Bank of America received bailout funds to assist in the buyout. Bailout funds were not used for the bonuses. These are the facts. Where do you get your information? I got mine from CSPAN not Fox Spews. Merrill did pay the bonuses 3 months early and that is being investigated.

    April 4, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Lori

    Republicans don't be niave. We all know that the majority of the world approves of President Obama versus George W (check the polls and look at the crowds cheering Obama). They are protesting the policies of America and they resent the fact that the economic crisis that started with George W has affected them. It has nothing to do with Michelle or our President. GOP: Don't be bitter!

    April 4, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. elena

    they were protesting because they have nothing better to do to get attention, i'm hurting but i hurt in the privacy of my own home.

    April 4, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Super MOD

    Uhhh Lauren. We knew about Merrill Lynch a couple of months ago along with CEO Thain's 35 thousand dollar toilet.

    It is one thing to protest where a NATO or G20 meeting is being held. It is tragic to protest a charity visit to a children's hospital. Our lives should always focus on leaving a better legacy for our children and future generations. They are the number one priority.

    April 4, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. SkiDoc

    Gosh.......must have been some kind of vast, right wing, racist, French conspiracy. Hope this doesn't ruin the "first-time patriotic" first lady's fashion moment.

    April 4, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Ann

    why are these 'first ladies' stories important anyway? Why are they part of the event in the first place? Who pays for all their appearances? these politicians have no shame.

    April 4, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. handiman

    They are required by electoral edict to love our president and first lady. Obviously, they are racists and must be punished.

    April 4, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. CNN Watchdog

    I guess today's DNC talking points are:
    They weren't protesting her.
    What were they protesting?

    So we don't know what they were protesting, but we KNOW they weren't protesting her?

    April 4, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Adriana RM

    Judging from history, when wives get along. It helps with the negoiating.

    April 4, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Richard L

    The protests are nothing at all compared to those when Bush went abroad and crowds burned him in effigy. Europeans seem to love our president, unlike Bush.

    April 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    Much of the time protesters reduce themselves to their base emotions and turn into an angry mob. Wasn't it an angry mob that shouted "Crucify Him!" as they were yelling at Jesus Christ? Why should anyone expect that a political leader, even Barack Obama or the First Lady would get better treatment?

    Anyway, protesting in France has become a national past time! They must be bored with nothing better to do, as they're mostly out of work and living on government assistance. I know there's much more complexity to the situation over there, but when people become desperate mob rule takes over and the result is rarely positive.

    April 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. andrea

    The protests in London and Strasbourg are carried out by different groups with different agendas: environmentalists, anarchists, neo-communists, pro-free Palestine, antiglobalization activists, etc. The majority are young.

    These same groups have been protesting since the 1990's all meetings of the WTO, G-8, etc.

    In essence, with the probably exception of the pro-Palestine elements, all these movements and individuals have been set in a struggle against the cut-throat capitalism dominating in the world since the collapse of the communist bloc - they have been fighting the runaway banking and financial systems, the export of capital in search of cheap labor, the disregard for the environment, etc, for 20 years while we all ignored those issues.

    In other words, all the problems which most of us are becoming painfully aware of now.

    April 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. welches, oregon

    too bad these protesters decided to disrupt a charity event – it could have been good for the hospital.

    Pick your battles wisely young grasshoppers.

    April 4, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Bradley from CA

    She's just as shady as her old man. Definitely something there to protest... I just don't know if they are protesting the right thing(s).

    April 4, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. helene

    What a shame...if she were the dutiful all-caring mother she claims to be she would have stayed home at the White House with her daughters! Instead she is cavorting all over Europe with her 8 assistance, etc, costing the taxpayers BIG bucks...do we appreciate it NO!! 500 people en-tourage for this trip, what a waste....

    April 4, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. catmom

    As usual, the haters are out in force trying to make this about the Obama's. Sorry haters but they were protesting like they always do at these summits. They protest anywhere they think they can get noticed. Nothing in the article indicated that they were protesting First Lady Michelle Obama. It's amazing how some people seem to think that this is only happening because of the Obama's. Get a clue, the Obama's have had a very successful trip. People all over the world love the Obama's. It is sad to see how some Americans can't let go of their politics and racism.

    And for all of you who like to repeat the American being mean comment and the for the first time she is proud to be an American comment, reading your comments on the various blogs make it very easy to understand exactly what she was talking about.

    April 4, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Kitty

    It's Obama's policies we HATE and the reaction around the world will be expressing the same sentiment!!!

    Obama's get used to the hostile welcomes!!

    April 4, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Jasmine in Germany

    France is a wonderful country and peaceful protests are permitted. I don't know why there were protesters, but it is sad that a visit to a hospital by spouses of G-20 leaders was the location of the protest. At least none of the ladies were wearing fur, that would have led to a larger protest.

    April 4, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. Jasmine in Germany

    Don't worry, the French love the Obamas and are relieved that the USA has an intelligent president for a change.

    April 4, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. B in AK

    I wanna know what the first lady does that is so special, besides her tomato plants. Because every other first lady has actually engaged in making this world better, not just stood around and looked beautiful for the media.

    April 4, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. D. Simmons, TX.

    They were protesting the FIASCO that has impacted them from the last 8 years of the U.S.A.'s hellaious administration. God help them and help us here in the USA.

    No need to worry, with the help of the Lord and our beloved President, HELP is on the way!

    April 4, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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