Violent Protests Erupt Across France After New Popular Front’s Election Victory

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Tensions ran high in France as the far-left New Popular Front alliance, comprising socialists, radical environmentalists, and communists, emerged victorious in the second round of elections. However, the celebration was short-lived, as riots broke out in several cities, including Paris, Rennes, Lyon, and Marseilles.

Despite the government’s efforts to prevent violence, black bloc Antifa-style radicals took to the streets, setting fire to street furniture and bicycles, and launching fireworks and projectiles at police. Demonstrators waved Palestinian and Antifa flags as they clashed with authorities.

The government had mobilized 30,000 police officers, including 5,000 in Paris, ahead of the elections, anticipating potential unrest from the far-left. However, the far-left still managed to wreak havoc, with violent protests and riots reported in several cities.

The New Popular Front alliance, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, is projected to have secured between 187 and 198 seats in the National Assembly. Mélenchon has demanded that President Macron either resign or appoint a member of his alliance as the next prime minister.

Macron’s decision to partner with the far-left in an election alliance has been met with criticism from Marine Le Pen, the leader of the populist National Rally, who has denounced the move as an “alliance of dishonour”. Le Pen’s deputy, Jordan Bardella, and the leader of the centre-right Les Républicains, Éric Ciotti, have also spoken out against the partnership.

The French political establishment and legacy media have long portrayed the National Rally as a threat to democracy, but Le Pen has pointed out that it is her far-left opponents who have been supportive of political violence and riots in the past. In a statement, Le Pen said: “The extreme left has been violent for years… and this completely unpunished. Macron said: ‘Either me or the chaos’. He is the chaos! We, on the other hand, embody calm and order.”

Kurt Zindulka
Kurt Zindulka
Deputy Editor.

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