[imagesource: Tolga Akmen/AFP]
The people of France are not afraid to lash out at the president or presidential candidates when they disagree with something.
At his first campaign rally, far-right French presidential candidate Éric Zemmour (above) was put in a headlock by someone who was protesting his anti-migrant and anti-Islam views.
Zemmour is hoping to unseat centrist President Emmanuel Macron, who has also received a fair share of backlash and attacks over the years, including getting an egg thrown at his head.
As a former TV presenter, Zemmour formally declared on Tuesday that he would run in next April’s election.
Not that support for his announcement has been plentiful.
The Guardian reported that his recent rally was seen as a chance to regain momentum after opinion polls showed his support declining over the last month.
If he gets elected, his plan is to reduce immigration to almost zero, dramatically toughen up the naturalisation process, and expel failed asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants.
In response, far-left activists and anarchists have been up in arms, ready for disruption.
Plus, several influential figures on the far-right have already distanced themselves from Zemmour, including his main financial backer.
His support took more of a knock after he gave the middle finger to a woman who was protesting during his trip to a port city in Marseille last weekend:
This prompted the police to be on high alert at his first campaign event held on Sunday at an exhibition centre in a suburb of Paris.
A sizeable crowd was there, cheering on every mention of reducing immigration while loudly booing every reference to Macron.
Then, he was put into a headlock by a protester:
L’agression de zemmour, digne des plus grands catcheurs #ZemmourVillepinte pic.twitter.com/t50lis7W9L
— Benj 🌒 (@benjdpl) December 5, 2021
Meanwhile, anti-racism activists were also reportedly attacked:
Fighting broke out and chairs were thrown at activists when they stood up with “No to Racism” written on their T-shirts, with at least two of them seen bleeding as they were ejected from the auditorium.
A crew from the popular but critical Quotidien nightly TV news show were also booed and removed by security, with hostility to the media a feature of the speeches at the event.
All in all, it was ugly:
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT – Supporters of French far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour threw punches and chairs at several protesters wearing anti-racism T-shirts during his first political rally https://t.co/J19m7HELcV pic.twitter.com/pCYeRmZR9Q
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 6, 2021
With such heated election campaigning, there is really no telling what the outcome will be.
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