Members of political parties and leftist associations demonstrated across France yesterday (June 12) during a series of “Marche des Libertés” (March of Freedoms), with organizers saying 70,000 people attended. participated.
Police estimated the number to be much lower, at 9,000 protesters in Paris and 37,000 nationwide. *
Protesters marched through 140 cities denouncing what they called “attacks on freedom” due to rising support for far-right parties and laws they say “kill freedoms.”
Besides 9,000 in Paris (according to the police), there were around 1,200 reported in Rennes. 1,000 in Toulouse, between 500 and 1,000 in Strasbourg, more than 600 in Nancy, 450 in Besançon and nearly 300 each in Avignon and Pau
– Donimico (@ Donimico1) June 12, 2021
– Marcel (@ realmarcel1) June 12, 2021
About a hundred organizations were represented, notably in Paris, including human rights activists the League of Human Rights, Cimade, Oxfam and Attac; and climate groups Youth for the climate and France nature environment.
Representatives of all left-wing parties were also present, including leaders Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France Insoumise) and Benoît Hamon (Génération.s, ex-Socialist Party), and the unions the CGT, FSU, the Syndicat de la magistracy, and Unef.
– Sylvain HUOT (@Sylvinfo) June 12, 2021
Two people were arrested and taken into police custody for the alleged “chalking” – thrown in flour in protest – of Mr. Mélenchon, a somewhat controversial figure even on the left.
Mr. Mélenchon would have declared later: “I am alive, all is well, it is only flour.”
Jean-Luc Mélenchon (as well as the journalists on the spot) have just been floured by an unidentified person at the # Freedoms March. Reaction # Mélenchon : “I am alive all is well it is only flour”. # 12june pic.twitter.com/TnQNh1uiyn
– BLAST (@blast_france) June 12, 2021
Eric Coquerel, from France Insoumise, hailed the success of the marches.
He Told Info France: “The side of freedom, of the fight against the extreme right, against racism, must still show its potential for response, that was the point [of the march].
“In France, it’s not just the far right, the far right agenda, the far right themes that the government is looking for; the classic right. [But] there are also people who are totally opposed to this view of things. This is what we have done today with great success [show our opposition to the right]. “
* There is often an important difference in France between the numbers of demonstrators given by the authorities and those given by the organizers, because they do not use the same methods to count people.
Read more here: Why is there often a difference in the number of protesters between what authorities and organizers say?)
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