‘Neither Macron, nor Le Pen’: French protesters in Paris
French Police have intercepted about 10,000 people gathered in Central Paris to oppose both remaining presidential candidates, incumbent Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen of the National Rally.
Tear gas was used by French police against demonstrators who took to the streets to oppose both remaining presidential candidates, incumbent Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen of the National Rally.
Thousands of people took part in anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrations in dozens of cities across the country ahead of the second round of the election, which is scheduled for April 24, with the largest one taking place in Paris.
The demonstrators' main goal was to express their opposition to Le Pen, whom leftists regard as a far-right politician. However, many of Le Pen's opponents appear to be dissatisfied with the prospect of neoliberal Macron serving another term.
Indeed, one of the march's most popular slogans was "Ni Macron, ni Le Pen" ("Neither Macron nor Le Pen").
🔴Déchaînement de Violences Policières en fin de manifestation contre le Racisme et Fascisme et pour dire "Ni Macron Ni Le Pen" à Paris. Interpellations, gazage,...— Esclave 2.0 (@Chaww8) April 16, 2022
📽️ Amar Taoualit pic.twitter.com/4c9vpOAiJ1
Despite the participation of more than 30 organizations and unions, the demonstration drew fewer than 10,000 people, according to figures provided by the Paris prefecture.
This is a far cry from the size of the anti-Le Pen protests that erupted between the first and second rounds of the previous presidential election in 2017.
Around 5 pm, law enforcement used tear gas to disperse protesters who were throwing projectiles and burning bicycles and waste in the Place de la Republique square. The march resumed soon after the incident.
Speaking to reporters in southern France, Le Pen commented on the protests, saying that "protesting against election results is deeply undemocratic."
“I say to all these people just go and vote. It's as simple as that,” she added.
The 'Neither Macron nor Le Pen' demonstration was one of at least six that took place in Paris on Saturday.
There was also a protest against Macron's policies, a march in support of Ukraine, and two Yellow Vest protests: one against mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations and one for "social, financial, and climate justice."
“Macron, never again!” says the crowd.— Nat (@Arwenstar) April 16, 2022
The media won’t show you this anti-Macron protest today in Paris👇🏻pic.twitter.com/F8VFktnFyv
It is worth mentioning that the presidency will be decided in a runoff between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and Le Pen, who received 27.6 percent and 23.41 percent of the vote, respectively, in the first round. Polls have shown that Macron will be the likely winner when the two face off on April 24.