NewsThe French prime minister is being mailed ladies' underwear,...

The French prime minister is being mailed ladies’ underwear, as lingerie stores protest lockdown rules

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Written by Rob Picheta, Antonella FranciniSaskya Vandoorne, CNN

French Prime Minister Jean Castex is being sent ladies’ underwear in the mail, as part of a protest by lingerie store owners whose outlets have been forced to close under the country’s lockdown.

The imaginative activists have been sharing pictures online of the various undergarments they have sent Castex, tucked inside an envelope with a letter explaining their grievances.

The protest, organized by the group Action Culottée, came about after lingerie stores were classed as non-essential businesses, and were therefore forced to close to reduce transmission of Covid-19.

“We managed to get the number of participants up to 200 retailers,” Nathalie Paredes, owner of the Sylvette Lingerie store in Lyon and the creator of the project, told CNN. “(That) means 200 panties” have been sent to the prime minister, she said.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex leaves the Élysée Palace on April 21, 2021. Credit: Andrea Savorani Neri/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Paredes’ group has shared dozens of images online of the unique packages Castex has been mailed.

“We wish to bring to light the very critical situation that hundreds of underwear shops across France are experiencing,” the group said in a press release.

“Florists, booksellers, hairdressers and record shops have been classified as ‘essential’ businesses. But what about underwear?” the group said. “Isn’t it a question of hygiene and protection? Isn’t it the first thing we put on in the morning to get dressed?”

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“Why is our department non-essential and hairdressing essential?” Paredes added.

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The letter included in each package urged Castex to reconsider the lockdown rules. “The truth is that we are ALL essential, prime minister. Small and local businesses are precious. They contribute to the local economy and give life to our communities,” it says.

CNN has reached out to Castex’s office for comment.

France went back into a national lockdown on April 3, shutting stores deemed non-essential, as well as bars, gyms, museums and theaters. But book and music stores were allowed to remain open.

The measures were announced after Covid-19 cases began accelerating across the country. France last week passed 100,000 confirmed deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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