Over a thousand Parisian high school students along with the far left extremist Antifa group marched in protest against both Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, clashing with police Thursday.
The protest started on the Boulevard Beaumarchais which meets the famous site of the French revolution, the Place de la Bastille. According to reports, students, along with far left extremists, gathered in an impromptu protest yelling, “No Marine! No Macron! No Country! No Boss!” as they waved placards and marched down the busy boulevard, L’Express reports.
According to reports, the demonstration was sparked by the new campaign posters of the two candidates released Thursday. The far left protesters also wrote slogans on nearby buildings, set piles of rubbish on fire, and smashed up several shops and a bank before police arrived.
— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) April 27, 2017
Protesters shouted “anti-capitalist” slogans at the officers whilst they attempted to disperse the mob with tear gas.
The protests are said to have originated in various Parisian high schools or lycées, which boys and girls aged 15 to 18 attend. It was reported that up to 20 high schools were affected as their students left school grounds to join the protest.
— L’écho Des Banlieues (@EchoBanlieues) April 27, 2017
By as early as 8:30 am, blockades were organised in various high schools in Paris in solidarity with the protest. At the Lycée Voltaire around a hundred masked far leftists gathered to protest, while at Lycée Buffon a sit-in was organised.
One of the pupils at the sit in told media: “We disagree with the values put forward by the National Front, and since we do not yet have the right to vote, we must express ourselves differently.” Around 200 students took part before police broke them up.
Elsewhere in Paris at the Rennes train station, around 50 protestors attempted to block the train tracks until police employed tear gas grenades and dispersed the crowd.
Immediately after the result of the first round was announced Sunday, far left extremists took to the streets of Paris to protest and riot against Le Pen. The riots led to the arrest of 143 people and several police officers were injured.
Before the first round of the election, French philosopher Michel Onfray had predicted there would be immediate riots in the wake of a Le Pen victory. Onfray said after years of the media portraying Le Pen as a “Nazi” and the Front National “undemocratic”, it was inevitable that rioting would occur.
Onfray rejected those labels and challenged French lawmakers to ban the party if it were truly undemocratic as the media claimed.
The protest may also increase the vote for Le Pen amongst French police officers who overwhelmingly support her. According to polls, over 50 per cent back the candidate who has promised to restore order to France.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at email@example.com