search

French prosecutors open inquiry into violence at far-right Zemmour’s rally

Jewish presidential candidate was injured in the wrist amid brawls that erupted between supporters and protesters as he took the stage and began to speak

A video grab taken from an AFPTV footage shows SOS Racisme militants (movement against Racism) clashing with supporters of French far-right media pundit and 2022 presidential candidate Eric Zemmour at the end of a campaign rally held in Villepinte, near Paris, on December 5, 2021. (AFP)
A video grab taken from an AFPTV footage shows SOS Racisme militants (movement against Racism) clashing with supporters of French far-right media pundit and 2022 presidential candidate Eric Zemmour at the end of a campaign rally held in Villepinte, near Paris, on December 5, 2021. (AFP)

French prosecutors said Monday they would investigate violent incidents at a campaign rally by far-right pundit Eric Zemmour who himself was assaulted as he attempted to take the stage.

Fighting also broke out shortly after Zemmour began speaking Sunday night at a venue outside Paris, as supporters tackled protesters who stood up wearing T-shirts saying “No to Racism.”

Several people were detained by police during the rally, including a man who grabbed Zemmour violently and injured his wrist, according to his campaign team.

Security guards were able to remove the protesters and restore calm after around 10 minutes.

A crew from the popular and sharp-tongued nightly TV news show “Quotidien” was also booed and briefly removed by security, with hostility to the media a theme of Zemmour’s and other speeches at the event.

Authorities had been on high alert ahead of the meeting that marked Zemmour’s official campaign launch after far-left activists and anarchists disrupted a trip by Zemmour to Marseille in late November.

Riot police had massed outside the arena in the Paris suburb of Villepinte and searched people’s bags as they arrived.

French far right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour cheers the crowd during his first rally, in Villepinte, north of Paris, France, December 5, 2021. (Rafael Yaghobzadeh/AP)

In Paris, a few hundred people marched to protest against his candidacy they denounced as racist and divisive.

Zemmour, a Jewish writer and political commentator, has upended the French presidential race by making an independent run in competition with the veteran far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

He accuses the French political establishment, including centrist President Emmanuel Macron, of failing to control immigration that he claims has contributed to France’s decline.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed