Tens of thousands demonstrated across France today, Saturday, in a march called by left-wing forces, environmental activists, trade unions and students, against the far right, to be the largest opposition demonstration in France, after a year and a half of a health crisis that severely limited freedom of demonstration due to quarantine measures and health rules that imposed by the authorities.
The demonstrations, called the “Freedoms March against the ideas of the extreme right”, took place in about 140 cities in France, in which participants condemned the “attacks on freedoms”, which, according to them, are increasing due to the continuous rise of the extreme right. Organizers said they counted 130,000 in France, 90,000 in Paris alone. While the police said that the number of demonstrators reached 35,000 throughout France, and 9,000 in Paris.
Demonstrations began at 10:30 am in Montpellier and Nancy, and at 11 am in Nantes and Bordeaux. In Paris, the procession set off from Place Clichy at 2:00 pm, led by politicians, deputies and parliamentarians, led by the presidential candidate, leader of the “France Not Submissive” party Jean-Luc Melenchon, the former presidential candidate Benoit Hamon, and the head of the General Labor Union, Philippe Martinez.
The procession presented a large figure of French President Emmanuel Macron, holding in one hand the image of the leader of the far-right “National Rally”, Marine Le Pen, in an attempt to indicate the similarity of the two people’s speech
From the starting point in Paris, Hamon said, “It is the starting point (to confront the extreme right), and I hope, not only in mobilizing against the far-right organizations, but against the ideas of the extreme right,” considering that “it is no longer the preserve of far-right parties, but has spread widespread in the political class. While the head of the “Socialist Party” Olivier Faure was absent from the Paris march, he did attend the Avignon demonstration.
In a scene that seemed like a huge carnival, bands played for the demonstrators, and performed live performances on giant trucks, or among the demonstrators, which prompted a large number of passers-by, cafe-goers and restaurants to join the march in Paris, while the procession presented a large model of French President Emmanuel Macron, holding in one hand a picture of the leader of the far-right “National Rally”, Marine Le Pen, in an attempt to indicate the similarity of the two people’s speech.
Above a metro station, protester Jacques Guillaume was standing, holding a banner that attracted all the media to take pictures of it, which read: “Darmanan (Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin) finds (Marine) Le Pen slack. patriotism equals chaos.”
He told the media, “I am here today to say no to the extreme right, no to Macron, and no to the chaos they caused.” “We are here, even if Macron and Le Pen don’t want to,” he added, repeating the protesters’ chants.
Representative of the “France Not Submissive” party, Eric Cockerell, said, in brief statements to reporters, “The great diversity that we are witnessing in this demonstration impresses me (..) We did not expect such a crowd, this shows that there is concern about the tyranny exercised by the authority, and pressure The ideological and electoral right of the far right affects everyone.”
Despite the diversity on which the deputy of ” La France Insoumise group” builds, the scene is much more complex. The police demonstration in which leftist forces such as the Socialist Party and the Green Party participated on May 19, continues to provoke a heated debate. Among the forces of the left, after the support announced by the extreme right for them, the images of socialist politicians such as the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the leader of the “Green” party Yannick Gadot, along with the symbols of the far right in France, were widely criticized.