NewsMassive protests planned in France against far-right surge

Massive protests planned in France against far‑right surge

Demonstration in Lyon
Demonstration in Lyon
Images source: © East News | JEFF PACHOUD

15 June 2024 12:03

France is gearing up for massive protests. This time, they have a political basis. Authorities expect up to half a million people on the streets. On Friday, several people were injured in Lyon.

Approximately 200 demonstrations against the far right will take place in France over the weekend, most of them on Saturday. Trade unions, social organizations, and an alliance formed by left-wing parties called the Popular Front have called for the protests.

Getting ready for demonstrations across the country

Demonstrations start Saturday morning in cities including Toulon and Bayonne (southern and southwestern France). The police expect between 50,000 and 100,000 people to protest in Paris and several hundred thousand nationwide. A mobilization of 21,000 police officers and gendarmes has been announced.

About a hundred associations and trade unions wrote an open letter in the Saturday issue of Le Monde calling for "civic mobilization" in the elections, given the risk of the far right coming to power.

The size of the planned protests may be an indicator of support for the newly formed alliance of left-wing parties, which presents itself as the only alternative to a far-right electoral victory. Before the parliamentary elections on 30th June, the National Rally (RN), the former National Front of Marine Le Pen, is leading in the polls.

Several thousand participants demonstrated on Friday evening in Montpellier in southern France, and about 3,500 in Lyon, where four people were injured, including three police officers.

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