More than 37,000 people took to the streets in 119 cities in France this Saturday (12), according to data from the Ministry of the Interior, to denounce the rise of the far right in the country.
Left-wing organizations that have called for the freedom march want to draw attention to the growing attacks on freedoms and “freedom-killing laws”. France is preparing for its next presidential election next year.
In Paris, where about 9,000 took part in the march, a young man threw flour in the face of the left-wing presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the La France insoumise (LFI) party, who was speaking in front of the press. .
Mélenchon said there was enormous tension and “a line has been crossed” days after French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face during a visit to south-eastern France.
In the video showing the scene, which took place in Tain-l’Hermitage, in the Drôme, we hear the cries “down with macronism” and “Montjoie Saint Denis!” reign of Louis VI and adopted by Action Française, which preached the restoration of the monarchy. In 2019, three members of the organization were found guilty of throwing a pie in the face of a politician, also shouting the slogan of war.
These incidents add to an already tense climate due to police demonstrations and the advance in the ballot boxes of the National Group, formerly the National Front, acronym of the right led by Marine Le Pen, in a context of division of the left on secularism, freedoms and security.
According to opinion polls, left-wing coalitions could not get to the second round of the presidential election, which the current president would present against Le Pen.
Protesters also criticized Macron’s center-right government, which they accuse of following in the wake of the far right, and its recent “freedom-killing laws”.
These ideas “are no longer the monopoly of far-right parties. […] and were widespread in the political class, ”said Benoît Hamon, former socialist presidential candidate in 2017.