Smoke grenades at rally against French presidential candidates in Paris



Smoke grenades could be seen being thrown at a demonstration in Paris where hundreds of protesters are marching against second round candidates for the 2017 French presidential election Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. French media reported that police deployed tear gas against the protesters.

Riot police have been deployed at the scene of the rally since the demonstration was not authorized by the city prefecture.

“Neither Macron, nor Le Pen,” the protesters have been heard shouting.

Students from at least 20 Paris lycees took part in the demonstration, AFP reported, citing educational officials.

Protesters were throwing bottles and stones against police, BFMTV reported, adding that police responded with tear gas.

“Neither fatherland, nor the boss, neither LePen nor Macron,” banners held by demonstrators said.

The protesters could also been seen smashing the windows of local businesses.

“Neither banker [Macron], nor racist [Le Pen],” was spray-painted on a shop window near Place de la République.

At the Paul Valéry Lycée, high school students created a huge ‘Ni Le Pen, Ni Macron’ (Neither Le Pen, nor Macron) poster, AFP reports.

They also erected a barricade out of trash bins with a banner on it saying “Neither of the two administrations.”

Protests against both candidates have been going on since Sunday night when the results of the first round of the French presidential election were announced.

The Sunday demonstration under the slogan NuitDesBarricades (Night of the Barricades) – against both Macron and Le Pen – soon escalated into violence between protesters and police.

People on social media also are calling for a boycott of the runoff election scheduled for May 7 under the hashtag #SansMoiLe7Mai (May 7 without me).

At least two demonstrators, including a 15-year-old girl, were injured in the scuffles, local media reported.

Macron won the first round of the presidential race on Sunday by securing 24.01 percent of the votes to Le Pen’s 21.3 percent.

Protesters on Thursday initially gathered at Place de la République, a square in central Paris, before heading to Place de la Bastille – the site where previous demonstrations against Le pen and Macron took place.

The protesters shouted “Anti-fascism,” “Anti-capitalism,” as they walked towards the Place de la Bastille.

At least 300 people have also gathered for an anti-presidential candidate protest in the city of Rennes in northwestern France, France Bleu newspaper reports.


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