Eric Zemmour Attacked at First Campaign Rally, 39 Antifa Extremists Arrested, Molotov Cocktails Seized

TOPSHOT - French far-right media pundit and 2022 presidential candidate Eric Zemmour delivers a speech during his campaign rally in Villepinte, near Paris, on December 5, 2021. (Photo by Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP) (Photo by STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP via Getty Images)
STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP via Getty Images

French conservative presidential candidate Eric Zemmour held his first campaign rally over the weekend but the event was marred when he was assaulted by a crowd member, while 39 Antifa extremists were arrested allegedly armed with weapons and acid at the venue.

The conservative writer and television pundit was attacked shortly before his speech in Villepinte on Sunday by a member of the audience who attempted to get his arms around the neck of Zemmour before security was able to subdue him.

Zemmour himself was left with an injured wrist due to the altercation and given nine days of Temporary Incapacity for Work (ITT), according to a report from the French broadcaster BFMTV.

The alleged assailant taken into custody for premeditated violence was identified in the French press as 27-year-old Valentin Abdelmajid B. — his name redacted in line with normal French privacy rules — from Colombes.

The 27-year-old was not the only one arrested at the rally on Sunday. At least 39 far-left Antifa extremists were taken into custody by police at the event, with reports that some of the extremists were armed with Molotov cocktails and “bottles of acid”. A total of 11 Molotov cocktails are reported to have been found by police.

That extremists would take acid to a political event has been denounced by establishment politicians on French national television.

Antifa has previously targeted Zemmour events, including an event in late October that led Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša to describe Antifa as an international terrorist group.

“Antifa is a global terrorist organization. Supported by the capital of financial speculators forging profits at the expense of the chaos caused by the operation,” Janša said.

Earlier last week, Antifa social media accounts had called on extremists to disrupt Zemmour’s rally, and in Villepinte.

Despite the attack on himself, Zemmour gave a speech to the estimated 10,000 or more people who attended the event and announced the creation of his political party Reconquest, which some have noted could be a reference to the Spanish Reconquista, which saw Christians drive out Islamic rulers who had invaded the Iberian peninsula centuries before.

Zemmour’s campaign manager has been revealed to be a decorated French Army general, Général Bertrand de la Chesnais, a commander of the French Legion of Honour.

During his speech, Zemmour stated that he would bring immigration levels to zero and would also look to pull France from the integrated military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

The campaign rally is the first for Zemmour, who announced his formal election campaign last week in a video in which he described the “third-worldisation” of France and described how many French felt like strangers in their own country.

“You have not moved and yet you have the feeling of no longer being at home. You feel like a stranger in your country. You are exiles from within,” he said and added, “the third-worldisation of our people and our country impoverishes them as much as it dislocates them.”

Zemmour also mentioned the theory of the Great Replacement, a theory describing radical demographic shifts in Europe and elsewhere that was coined by French writer Renaud Camus.

Polls have shown that as many as half of the French public believes in the Great Replacement theory, which asserts that elites in business and politics view people as interchangeable things.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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