Police in France's Lille Use Tear Gas at Protests Against Presidential Hopeful Zemmour - Video

© REUTERS / PASCAL ROSSIGNOLA protest against French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, Lille, France, 5 February 2022
A protest against French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, Lille, France, 5 February 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.02.2022
PARIS (Sputnik) - Police used tear gas in France's Lille during demonstrations against the arrival of presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, local newspaper Voix du Nord reported on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, a few hundred people took to the streets in Lille to protest against Zemmour, hours before he arrived to hold a campaign rally. The demonstrators were joined by the city's mayor, Martine Aubry, who had said the day before that Zemmour was "not welcome" in Lille.
According to reports, the local police were forced to use tear gas several times during the protests, notably, when a protester fired fireworks at law enforcement officers and when others lit smoke bombs. Furthermore, the police used tear gas to disperse a group of nearly 20 people, fully dressed in black clothes, who tried to prevent the detention of one of the protesters.
The presidential election in France will be held in April. To date, about 30 candidates announced their bids, including well-known right-winger Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, who appears to be a serious contender in the upcoming election. Despite his hardline stance against migration and disregard for racial issues, polls indicate Zemmour’s solid support among French society.
Egyptian-born French economist and politician Jean Messiah (L) stand next to French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour (C) as he delivers a speech in front of the Castle of Villers-Cotterets, in the Aisne department, on January 15, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
French Presidential Hopeful Zemmour Stands by His Remarks on Migrants After Fine for Hate Speech
The February poll showed that in the first round, incumbent president Emmanuel Macron, who has yet to announce his candidacy, will receive 25% of the vote, followed by Le Pen with 16.5%, liberal Valerie Pecresse with 16%, and Zemmour with 12.5%. At the same time, in the second round, Macron is predicted to beat either of his three main rivals, the report said.
Zemmour's offensive rhetoric led him to be found guilty of hate speech several times. In January, a French court fined Zemmour for racist comments about unaccompanied migrant children whom he urged to return to their home countries.
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