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PROTESTS

IN PICTURES: Thousands of people take part in anti-fascism protests across France

Several hundred thousand people took to the streets across France to protest against far-right leader Marine Le Pen ahead of the presidential election next weekend.

A protestor holds a placard which translates as 'nor Macron, nor Le Pen - but especially not Le Pen'
A protestor holds a placard which translates as 'nor Macron, nor Le Pen - but especially not Le Pen' during a demonstration 'against racism and fascism' in Paris on April 16, 2022. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

There are several demonstrations taking place across France on Saturday, but this union-organisation protest had been expected to be the largest.

Jointly organised by the League of Human Rights with several unions (CGT, FSE, FSU, FAGE, Unef) the protest was organised to express anger over the presence of far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election.

The demo started at 2pm on Saturday at Place de la Nation, moving to Place de la République.

A spokesman said: “The extreme right is once again present in the second round of the presidential election, with an unprecedented level of votes. We refuse to see it come to power.”

Organisers had also called for demonstrations across France.

A protestor waves a flag as he marches with others during a demonstration ‘against racism and fascism’ in Paris on April 16, 2022. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

A protestor holds a placard which translates as ‘down with the state, down with money, long live the commune, universal humanity and emancipation’ during the demonstration (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)
 

French gendarmes hold riot shields as they gather during the demonstration . (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

Protestors hold a banner reading ‘Against the far-right’ during a demonstration against racism and fascism in Perpignan, southern France, on April 16, 2022. (Photo by RAYMOND ROIG / AFP)

A protestor (R) holds a banner reading ‘Voting for Le Pen is not worth it’ during a demonstration ‘against racism and fascism’ near Marseille’s prefecture, on April 16, 2022. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)

Protestors shout slogans during the demonstration in Marseille. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)

Protestors holds a banner reading ‘no to the far-right, for justice and equality’ in the demonstration in Marseille. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)
 

Protestors shout anti-fascist slogans in front of riot mobile gendarmes during a demonstration at the Vieux Port in Marseille, on April 16, 2022. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)
 

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2022 FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

French students occupy universities protesting against both Macron and Le Pen

A student occupation of the Sorbonne in Paris in protest over political choices following the first round of the Presidential elections has ended after more than 30 hours, but more are planned.

French students occupy universities protesting against both Macron and Le Pen

An estimated 100 students had started occupying the building on Wednesday to condemn what they called the “fake choice” between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting on April 24th. 

“All the students of the occupation decided to leave,” a second-year philosophy student and Unef activist, told AFP after it was reported that gendarmerie officers were planning to enter the building. 

The final protesters left the building overnight. But the university has said that its Censier building will remain closed until the end of second-semester classes on Saturday, April 23rd – the day before voters return to the ballot box for the second round.

About 150 other students who were blocking access to Sciences Po Paris ended their sit-in on Thursday afternoon after a “removal” action organised by far-right activists.

The protest movement has spread to several universities across France this week. Other sporadic occupation protests took place the day after the first round, at the University of Paris 8 and the École Normale Supérieure Jourdan, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, which were blocked. Around 50 students also blocked the entrances to the Sciences Po Paris campus in Nancy with pallets on Wednesday.

Although the occupation of Sorbonne is over, a number of other protests are planned, including one outside ENS Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, on Friday afternoon, while anti-far right demonstrations are planned in towns and cities across France on Saturday.

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