June 21, 2024
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Eiffel Tower Protest Climb

World-renowned climber Mike Robertson scaled the 1,064-foot-high tower — without ropes — to demand that French oil company TOTAL stop abetting the repressive Burmese regime

See the video: 3.55 minutes

Possibly befitting a structure built to celebrate the hundred-year anniversary of the French Revolution, plenty of people have challenged the Eiffel Tower since it was finished in 1889.

An Austrian tailor, experimenting with a new kind of parachute, fell 180 feet to his death in 1912. Others climbed to demand independence (Basques, Tibetans) or to promote causes (cleaner environment, better government).

British climber and photojournalist Mike Robertson ascended to help publicize a campaign to force French energy giant Total to exit Burma (Myanmar), shortly after a fall 2007 anti-democracy crackdown by one of the repressive military regimes that has controlled the isolationist country for nearly 50 years.

Robertson wore only a TOTAL LEAVE BURMA T-shirt. He climbed without ropes or gear — a practice known as soloing.

“All I could see were loads and loads of people staring out,” Robertson told The Guardian, about his experience of scaling the side.

“They were speechless. Quite a lot of them pointed their phones at me, but nobody said anything. Having said that, I was going really fast.” –The editors

In this video, Paris-based documentarian Nicoletta Fagiolo, a former United Nations human rights official, tells the story of Robertson’s feat.

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