Tuesday, October 4

Thousands of people take to the streets of France against the extreme right

Thousands of people have demonstrated this Saturday in the streets of many cities in France against the leader of the extreme right, Marine Le Pen, candidate for the presidential election against the current head of state, Emmanuel Macron.

The protests have been concentrated in Paris, but also in cities such as Rennes, Lyon, Nantes and Besançon, and in up to 50 locations in the country, called by unions and organizations such as SOS Racismo, under the slogan “Against the extreme right and for the justice and equality”, as well as “Not a vote for Le Pen”.

Some 22,000 people have taken part in the marches across France, 9,200 of them in Paris, according to figures from the Interior Ministry.

“A vote that stinks is better than a vote that kills,” read one of the banners at the capital’s rally.

Many protesters have announced that they will vote for Macron, even if they are against his ideas, to prevent Le Pen from being elected.

But other banners showed at the same time the rejection of many voters to resort to the so-called “republican front”, that is, to vote for the candidate opposed to the extreme right to prevent his coming to power.

“Neither Macron nor Le Pen” has been one of those slogans, on a day in which there was also an anti-Macron protest in Paris, organized by the former number two of Marine Le Pen, Florian Philippot, who assures on social networks that “a million people” were expected. Finally, there have been a few hundred people.

This Saturday night closes the consultation that the La France Insumisa party, of the leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has organized to ask its supporters what the party’s position should be: vote for Macron to avoid Le Pen or abstain or vote in white.

According to the latest polls, published in the magazine “L’Obs” and which give the Liberal candidate the victory with a very tight difference, up to 40% of Mélenchon’s voters would be willing to abstain or vote blank on April 24, 29% would vote for Le Pen and 31% for Macron.

Mélenchon obtained more than 7.7 million votes in the first round, 22% of the vote, behind Le Pen’s 23.1% and Macron’s 27.8%.

Unlike other leaders of the left, Mélenchon has called for a vote against Le Pen, but has not asked for a vote for Macron.

Ecology occupied a good part of the media discourse this Saturday, also at Macron’s rally, who dedicated his speech to announcing policies that, he said, will multiply environmental actions in the next five years.

In front of him, Le Pen, who has promised to dismantle all wind power generators because “they spoil the landscape”, considered his opponent’s announcements as a “punitive ecology” against his “national ecology” program, which according to several NGOs “fears the worst”.

In the early hours of the morning, blockades were also registered in one of the main arteries of the capital, the grand boulevards, where a hundred militants from the environmental group Extinction Rebellion began a three-day action blocking traffic to denounce “the inaction” of political leaders in the face of global warming.