Skip to Content

Anti-Le Pen protest in Nantes descends into violence

Clashes with riot police in Nantes, western France, errupted at an anti-Le Pen protest. Two people have been arrested, and three more taken to a police station for identification.

Published: February 26, 2017, 8:17 am

    Read more

    Nantes

    Riot police fired tear gas to contain protesters who had staged a demonstration, initially organised against a speech by the National Front leader Marine Le Pen scheduled for Sunday. The police had to summon a water cannon to the central square of the town.

    The march by anti-fascist and far-left union protesters in Nantes, turned ugly when smoke bombs and even a Molotov cocktail were launched at officers. Many of the activists were carrying Communist symbols and trade union flags.

    According to RT, many demonstrators wore hoods and masks, At least one officer had to be hospitalised after burn injuries to his leg, according to the regional newspaper Ouest-France.

    French media reported earlier that radical activists, including anarchist groups, were traveling to Nantes from across the country to take part in the protest. Cafes and shops were vandalised leaving several with broken windows and tagged walls. Monuments were also spray-painted.

    Public transport into the city through the main streets was suspended on Saturday afternoon, as shop owners were busy covering shop windows and barricading doors. A police contingent of several units bussed in as reinforcements from neighboring regions were present.

    Activists carried placcards reading “No to Le Pen” and “No fascists in our neighborhood,” though there were also cries of “Justice for Theo,” mimicking recent riots in Paris that followed the alleged brutal treatment of a black drug dealer named Theo.

    “We are here to tell Marine Le Pen that she is not welcome at all in the West and Nantes in particular. We are a country of solidarity and social progress, and we do not want the lies of Marine Le Pen,” said Anthony Lemaire of the CGT union.

    As the crowd chanted “Everybody hates the police!” hooded youths began engaging the riot squad leading to running battles and skirmishes with officers.

    The National Front called the attempts to derail Marine Le Pen’s rally ahead of the April presidential election, an attack on free speech, and welcomed a firm police response.

    “As usual the far-left fascist rabble rampages and burns. We will soon arrive to restore order to France!” said FN Vice President Florian Philipot.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Van rams into holidaymakers in Barcelona, police foil second attack

    The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack in which 13 people were killed and over a hundred pedestrians injured when a white van rammed into unsuspecting holidaymakers.

    OSCE Monitor on Ukraine: Deadly violence has doubled since last year

    INTERVIEWInterview with Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

    Cars as weapons: Could hackers be part of the growing problem?

    A car crashed through the front of a pizzeria on Monday evening in Seine-et-Marne, near Paris, killing a teenage girl. The 32-year-old male driver is believed to have "intentionally" crashed into the terrace on Rue du Commerce, Sept-Sorts in a "drugged state".

    Oligarch in trouble

    MOSCOWMoscow: Russian national oil company Rosneft joins a historical law battle against oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov

    MSF suspends its migrant rescue operations off Libyan coast

    RomeDoctors Without Borders (MSF) will suspend its migrant rescues in the Mediterranean, the organisation declared on Saturday after Italian government moved to halt the human trafficking from North Africa.

    Journalist who exposed German government bias in media coverage faces backlash

    German-Dutch freelance reporter Claudia Zimmermann faced innumerable hardships after exposing her employer, German public broadcaster WDR, for Soviet-style censorship of the migrant crisis. Zimmermann faced rejected contributions, calls to boycott her and even a public letter refuting her reporting which she says had been strictly factual.

    Knife crime surges in London with migrant influx

    LondonThe Weekly Standard (WS), a British daily, reported that the recent influx of African migrants, particularly from Somalia and the Congo, has caused a spike in knife crimes.

    Italian PM met Soros in secret as web of Soros-funded NGO’s is exposed

    RomeThe Italian Prime Minister met with George Soros in secret in May, just as concerned Italians were beginning to expose the spiderweb of Soros-funded NGO's operating in the country to promote immigration.

    Poland not considering deployment of US missiles, says minister

    WarsawPoland is not considering the deployment of US medium-and short-range missiles on its territory for the moment, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told the Kommersant business daily.

    Libyan general threatens to bomb Italian vessels as chats between smugglers and NGOs surface

    Libyan General Khalifa Haftar has ordered his faction to bomb Italian vessels deployed in a mission to provide naval support to Libya, according to a tweet published by broadcaster Al Arabiya. The announcement comes after Italy impounded a German NGO vessel on suspicion of human trafficking.

    Go to archive