Violent ‘Ni Macron, Ni Le Pen’ demonstrations both candidates will use
Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris to march against second round candidates in the French presidential election. People are rallying under the motto “Neither Le Pen nor Macron – against finance and fascism.” It follows a national call for students to block and occupy their high schools.
Police have used tear gas against protesters who were throwing bottles and stones at them, the French media reported.
Why is there such reaction to the results of the election in France, and why are people coming out onto the streets and campaigning against both candidates? RT asked political analyst Nikola Mirkovich and author and lawyer Drieu Godefridi.
“It is strange in the democratic procedure that people go out to the streets to demonstrate violently. We have to respect if we believe in the democracy… we have to believe that the way the people choose is by the ballot box and not by violence in the streets,” Nikola Mirkovich said.
“It is interesting to see these youth out on the streets in Paris today because these youth are the children of those who voted massively for Macron. Macron in Paris has over 35 percent of the results last Sunday. Le Pen in Paris has terrible results, less than five percent. So, these are the children of the Parisian bourgeois who voted for Macron, they are in the streets today,” he continued.
“Those who have done this specifically, that is their right. And there is no problem with that,” Mirkovich said adding that the violence in the campaign is giving “a bad image of French democracy.”
Mirkovich told RT that “some like to say that if Le Pen were to be elected, that France would turn violent…On the other hand, Le Pen will answer that the people who are in power today and who are the children of those voting for Macron are using violent methods in the streets against democracy.”
In his opinion, “both sides are going to use these images in their campaigns.”
Mirkovich said not all the protesters are violent. “But there are…extremely violent protesters and this is part of recent French tradition in the alt-left wing. I don’t know why…they are breaking their own city where Le Pen made less than five percent.”
According to Mirkovich, “the rest of France and provinces outside of towns, working class who …don’t understand…how can people break their own facilities.”
Author and lawyer Drieu Godefridi, argues the reason for such a reaction and violence among protesters is that “there is a tradition of violence on the far left in France.”
“They hoped that Jean-Luc Melenchon would get to the second round. They are disappointed with the result. So, they come to the streets to perpetrate these acts of violence,” he told RT.
Godefridi said “the choice now is clear, it is between Macron and Le Pen, there is no other option…The violence in the streets changes nothing, and it will not affect the possible result of the election."
In his opinion though, the chances of Le Pen winning the second round are close to zero. He added though that “the program of Melenchon on the far left and the program of Le Pen are very close. I would not be surprised to see many people voting [for] Melenchon in the first round, voting for Le Pen in the second round.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.