A French prosecutor has opened an investigation into all “incidents of violence” that occurred at Eric Zemmour’s rally. One of the meeting participants grabbed the French presidential candidate by the neck as he pushed his way through the crowd. Later, opponents of the politician who were wearing T-shirts with an anti-racist slogan were attacked.
Far-right at the Sunday rally near Paris French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour there have been two incidents. As the 63-year-old Zemmour pushed his way towards the stage through the crowd, a man standing nearby grabbed his neck aggressively. The attacker was arrested by security guards and later by policemen.
Zemmour was injured in the wrist, but he made a speech nonetheless, his team later reported. The media informed that the candidate for the office of the head of state had filed a complaint against the police and that the doctors had recommended him a few days’ rest. No details have been released about the man who grabbed his neck, or what his motives were.
Riots between opponents and supporters of Zemmour
However, when the candidate began to speak, opponents of his views climbed into chairs, wearing T-shirts with the words “Not for racism”. Then the supporters of Zemmour rushed with fists and chairs at the small group of demonstrators. At least one person was injured.
The anti-racist NGO SOS Racisme later tweeted that its activities were present at a meeting with Zemmour to peacefully say “no” to racism. “Our activists were beaten and insulted for … our fight against racism!” – she added.
In addition to the protesters, two French investigative journalists from Mediapart reported that they had been injured during the rally. The members of the Zemmour campaign team contacted by Reuters have not yet responded to a request for comment. A French prosecutor launched an investigation on Monday that will cover all “incidents of violence” during the rally.
Zemmour’s chances in the presidential election in France
Eric Zemmour is a publicist known for his provocative statements against Islam and migration. During his speech on Sunday, he promised, among other things, “systematic deportations” of illegal immigrants from the “French land”, as well as unemployed foreigners. He repeatedly spoke critically in a speech about Muslims who “want to take France” and impose their rights on the French, but promised to assimilate those who want it because it is “the best gift France can offer them”.
In the past, Zemmour has been convicted of inciting racial hatred.
Over the past few weeks, some polls have suggested the former journalist may qualify for the second round of the presidential election to be held in France next April. Currently, however, the polls are favorable for Marine Le Pen – the leader of the more established far-right National Union. The results of the research show that she would enter the second round of voting with current President Emmanuel Macron, who would be the winner.
Main photo source: Reuters