Opération escargot

Opération escargot
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French Expression

Meaning rolling blockade, truck-out boycott, go-slow operation
Literally snail operation
Register normal
Pronunciation [uh pay ra syo(n) eh scar go]
IPA   [ɔ pe ʁa sjɔ̃ ɛs kaʁ go]

Usage notes: The French expression opération escargot refers to a type of demonstration which deliberately impedes traffic: hundreds of vehicles (cars, trucks, tractors, depending on the demonstrators and their aims) fill all the lanes of a highway and drive slowly. Less commonly, boats may be used to hinder marine traffic.

Par exemple…

Entre la pénurie d’essence et les opérations escargot, ce n’est pas le bon moment de conduire jusqu’à la côte !   Between the gas shortage and the rolling blockades, this isn’t a good time to drive to the coast!
On appelle à se mobiliser via une opération escargot demain.   They’re calling for a rolling blockade tomorrow.

 Despite the similarity to the English expression, opération escargot does not mean "to move at a snail’s pace" outside of this particular context. When talking about a person walking slowly or a non-deliberate traffic jam, the French equivalent is avancer comme une tortue.

 Related vocabulary

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Opération escargot
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