‘Extreme Left’ Violence: Le Pen Party Candidate Hospitalised Following Masked Men Attack

Protesters hold banners during a demonstration against the far-right and racism in central
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A candidate for the French snap election representing Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) anti-mass-migration populist party was attacked and hospitalised by a “group of masked people”.

Marine Le Pen slammed “ultra-left militias” after a group of her activists, including a Parliamentary candidate, were set upon by a group of black-clad attackers in the city of Saint Étienne, in the Loire. The RN activists were “pushed around and insulted”, and “projectiles” including rotten fruit, water, and flour were thrown.

The assailants were described by the victims and witnesses were a “group of masked people” and “dressed all in black”. All-black nondescript clothing to confound police identifying violent activists is a well-known characteristic of the ‘black bloc’ hard-line left.

The stress or physicality of the encounter was apparently enough, states a report on the attack in Le Figaro, that RN candidate Hervé Breuil suffered a stroke and was hospitalised. He remained in hospital into Friday.

French broadcaster TF1 states that during the assault Breuil, who is 70 years old and has a pacemaker fitted, was kicked. They state the assault started with shouting, the attackers telling the campaigners they were not welcome in the city, and there was an attempt to steal the phone of one person who filmed the altercation.

Police have launched an investigation.

Marine Le Pen, leader of RN and primary challenger alongside her ally Jordan Bardella of French President Emmanuel Macron, decried the emergence of violence in democracy and called out the left wing for the attack.

She said: “Cowardly attacked by the ultra-left militias… our candidate in Saint-Etienne, is still hospitalized this evening. An electoral campaign in a democracy cannot allow this unleashing of ultra-violence from an extreme left ready to do anything to sow chaos. We send him our friendly support and a speedy recovery.”

The Saint Étienne attack is just the latest on populist politicians in Europe in recent weeks, which in some cases have been characterised by extreme violence. Several people were stabbed in a terror attack in Germany at a political demonstration last month. The suspect was shot dead as he stabbed a police officer — who later died of his wounds — in the neck. In Slovakia, a political activist shot the Prime Minister in June because he believed the country wasn’t giving enough military aid to Ukraine.


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