Monday, May 1, 2017
May Day In Europe, Venezuela And Philippines--A Time Of Riots, Destruction And Protests.
Chaos in Paris as annual May Day march turns into mass riot in protest against Marine Le Pen
More than 9,000 police have been drafted in for the march which descended into carnage as officers were forced to use tear gas and baton charges to control the violence
Chaos erupted on the streets of Paris as a May Day workers' march saw riots
break-out in protest against Marine Le Pen.
Fighting broke out in central Paris during a rally held close to the Place de la
Bastille, where protestors shouted ‘Fascists out!’.
They were furious that Ms Le Pen, 48, has got through to the second round of
the election to choose a new head of state.
Six French police officers were injured by Molotov cocktails with one badly hurt
by a firebomb that exploded on top of his helmet which resulted in flames
engulfing his entire body.
A police source said: "Around one hundred hooded protestors got as close as
they could to police lines, and then one or two threw Molotov Cocktails.
"One officer suffered serious burns to the face just after 3pm. He was rushed to
hospital. He is in a bad way, but his condition is not life threatening. Another
officer suffered serious hand wounds, while others were less badly hurt. There
were five arrests in all."
Ms Le Pen will go head-to-head against independent favourite Emmanuel
Macron, 39, on Sunday.
"She represents racism and hatred, that’s why we’re opposing her," said one
left-wing activist Nicole, aged 22.
"Thousands of us have come out on the street to stand up for justice and decency,
and to show our shame at these fascists hoping to take over," she added.
As Nicole smoke police took part in running battles with riot police, who used tear
gas and baton charges to try and restrain the crowds.
More than 9,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers were on duty to try and prevent
trouble on what is traditionally a day of protest across France.
Today Ms Le Pen addressed National Front (FN) supporters at the Exhibitions
Park at Villepinte, north-east of Paris, calling on ‘nationalist France’ to rise up.
Earlier her father, Jean-Le Pen, the convicted racist and anti-Semite Jean-Marie
Le Pen, had laid a wreath of Joan of Arc in Paris.
Mr Le Pen, who remains the honorary president of the FN and who is funding his
daughter’s election campaign with a loan worth more than £6m, told supporters
to vote in their masses.
He was a frequent presidential candidate, and came second to the conservative
Jacques Chirac in 1995.
Mr Macron meanwhile taunted his far-right rivals by visiting the spot where her FN supporters murdered a Moroccan immigrant.
Mr Macron paid a moving tribute at the Carousel Bridge, in central Paris, where
Brahim Bouarram was killed by neo-Nazis attached to the party exactly
22 years ago today.
At the time Ms Le Pen was an up-and-coming FN politician, having unsuccessfully
stood for a parliamentary seat in the French capital.
The four men involved in Bouarram’s killing were all in the same FN cortege as Ms Le Pen and her father as they paid homage to Joan of Arc on May Day 1995.
Referring to the Bouarram tribute, a member of Mr Macron’s En Marche! (On the
Move!) political movement said: "Emmanuel Macron was determined to honour
Brahim and in turn to show what the FN is all about."
Bouarram, a married father-of-two, was first of all attacked by the FN supporters,
who chanted racist slogs, before throwing him into the River Seine, where he was
left to drown.
His murder – for which four attackers were eventually convicted – caused
shockwaves in the middle of the 1995 presidential election, which was contested
by Mr Le Pen.
Francois Mitterand, the then Socialist head of state, stopped campaigning between
the two rounds as 12000 people gathered on the bridge to pay tribute to Bouarram.