Burned-out cars & police brutality: VIDEOS capture violence in France amid presidential vote
Violent protests coincided with the counting of votes in the first round of the presidential election in Paris, footage captured by RT’s Ruptly agency shows. The election has been branded a “masquerade” by protesting youths.
One disturbing scene captured by Ruptly shows a young woman scuffling with a police officer, and being forcefully thrown on the asphalt face-down. Others rush to help the woman, who cries in pain and struggles to get up, but eventually remains helplessly lying on the ground. An ambulance crew then arrives to take away the young protester, who seems to have suffered serious injuries.
Another Ruptly clip shows cars burning near Paris’s Stalingrad metro station, hours after the city witnessed scenes of protests and clashes in its very center. The French youth, which appeared to make up most of the agitated crowds facing off with the police, vented their frustration with the course of the French presidential election, which saw the liberal centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen advance into the second round.
AFP reported that at least five vehicles were burned out in the Saint-Martin-République area.
READ MORE: Macron, Le Pen lead in 1st round of French presidential elections – projection
Several hundred young people gathered on the Place de la Bastille in the center of the French capital on Sunday night after the announcement of preliminary results, AFP reported.
“We came to protest against the masquerade that represents this election,” a protester told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The demonstration, dubbed #NuitDesBarricades (Night of the Barricades) against both Macron and Le Pen, soon resulted in clashes between protesters and police. At least two protesters, including a 15-year-old girl, were reportedly injured in the scuffles.
Police said that demonstrators were throwing projectiles, bottles and firecrackers at the officers. At least three people were arrested, according to a police prefecture. Police, in turn, deployed tear gas against the demonstrators.
An organizer of the rally reportedly called upon everyone to come to protest “against Marine and against Macron.” “Whatever the outcome, we will not recognize the [the results]!” he shouted via the microphone.