Watch Live: French Activists, Unions Clash With Riot Police In First Anti-Macron Protest
Macron won the French presidential elections against Marine Le Pen. Now comes the hard part.
Emmanuel Macron may have won Sunday’s presidential election by a comfortable margin, but even his supporters’ enthusiasm is tempered by the scale of the challenge that the inexperienced politician faces in tackling France’s deep-seated economic, social and security problems, Reuters notes. Macron, the former economy minister of the Francois Hollande – whose regime led to a dramatic deterioration in the French economy – and who had never previously stood for elected office, is facing his first major protest less than 24 hours after being elected, with activists and unions holding a protest on Monday against Macron’s proposed labour reforms plans.
And, according to French press reports, tensions are rising in the post-vote protest in Paris against President-elect Emmanuel Macron, as well as against the upcoming economic reforms. Police have briefly engaged in scuffles with protesters, according to Reuters, which adds that a hundred and forty-one people were arrested in Paris after trouble flared overnight following Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France’s presidential election, police said on Monday.
Those detained in Menilmontant, a north-eastern district of Paris, were accused of offences ranging from throwing missiles at the police to damaging property. The demonstrators were protesting both against Macron – criticized by many on France’s far left as a member of a discredited elite in thrall to global capitalism – and against his defeated far-right nationalist rival, Marine Le Pen.
“He is not our president”, “Say No to the new labor reform!”, “Say No to repression”, read the banners held by demonstrators.
Representatives of trade unions, left wing groups, as well as anti-fascists and anarchists are taking part in the rally, according to French media
— Marie-Lys Lubrano (@MarieLysLubrano) May 8, 2017
“En Marche! is pushing towards social war” said another banner held by protesters. The En Marche! political party was created by Macron in 2016 after he stepped down as Economy Minister under Francois Hollande’s government to join the presidential race.
— hajoura74 (@hajoura74) May 8, 2017
— Antoine Llorca (@antoinellorca) May 8, 2017
Activists announced before the presidential run-off that they would demonstrate regardless of who won, saying that both Macron’s and rival Marine Le Pen’s policies are anti-social.
Manif syndicale anti-Macron place de la République à Paris pic.twitter.com/iGn3RA0t5u
— Alexandre Habay (@alexhabay) May 8, 2017
The protests are not over: the hardline leftist CGT labor union planned a demonstration in the capital later in the day against the kind of liberal economic policies that Macron espouses.