Protests sweep France amid far-right election surge

Protests sweep France amid far-right election surge

As France braces for early elections following European Parliament results, public dissent grows against far-right influence

By Esra Taskin

PARIS (AA) - As France braces for early elections following the European Parliament results, public dissent has surged against the rising influence of the far-right National Rally (RN) party led by Jordan Bardella.

Thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Paris, brandishing flags and voicing their opposition to Bardella and his far-right agenda.

Organized by the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), France's largest union, demonstrations unfolded nationwide in cities including Paris, Marseille, and Rennes.

Chants reverberated through the capital, denouncing the RN leader with slogans like "Everyone hates Bardella" and defiant declarations such as "Even if Bardella doesn't want us, we are here."

Anti-fascist sentiments echoed prominently among the protesters.

The mobilization was not without tension, particularly in Rennes, where clashes erupted between demonstrators and police.

Reports from Actu Rennes indicated that authorities deployed pepper spray to disperse protesters who had ignited fireworks during the rally.

The demonstrations come in the wake of the RN's resounding victory in the recent EP elections, capturing 31.37% of the vote, while President Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance party secured second place with 14.60%.

Macron responded swiftly to these results by announcing the dissolution of parliament on June 9, setting the stage for snap elections scheduled between June 30 and July 7.

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