Western Europe

Almost 50 protesters arrested in Paris ahead of candidate Zemmour’s rally

19:17, 05 December 2021
Almost 50 protesters arrested in Paris ahead of candidate Zemmour’s rally Photo: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Over 50 unions, parties, and organizations have called on their followers to gather in the streets to protest against the far-right presidential candidate.

On Sunday several hundred people staged protesters in Villepinte situated on the outskirts of Paris against a former journalist and now a candidate for France’s Presidency Eric Zemmour. At least 49 demonstrators have been detained shortly before the first public meeting of Zemmour’s presidential campaign.

The protesters, many of them Antifa activists, regard rightist Zemmour as a racist and polemicist. They chanted “Zemmour, get off, Paris isn’t yours” as they headed in the afternoon towards the La Villette parc near the city center where the event was supposed to take place.

However, the reunion was later relocated to Villepinte, a northeastern suburb of Paris, for safety reasons. Paris authorities deployed heavy police presence in the city to avoid clashes and violence.

Demonstrators also had banners saying "Paris will silence the far-right."

“Far-right ideas are banal. We promote humane ideas,” the CGT leader Jean-Luc Hacquart said.

Those arrested were taken to the local police department for identity checks, police representatives announced. It is reported that the reason for the detention was gathering in a place to which access was forbidden.

At the rally Zemmour presented the name of his party with which he will participate in the 2022 French presidential elections – “reconquest”. Earlier the candidate unveiled his campaign’s slogan – “Impossible is not French.”

Earlier Zemmour’s visit to Marseille triggered a wave of protests organized by Antifa movements. His public appearance was terminated earlier than scheduled as some manifesters tried to throw eggs at the politician, according to local media.

It has already been unveiled that Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France Valerie Pécresse will participate in the presidential race apart from current President Emmanuel Macron and Eric Zemmour.