French far-right commentator Eric Zemmour's first official presidential campaign rally ended in violence Sunday as his supporters clashed with anti-racism activists.
Five activists of the non-governmental organization (NGO) SOS Racisme were injured during the brawl, which began after they stood up to highlight the words “No to Racism” on their T-shirts and chanted anti-racism slogans at the rally held in the Villepinte commune of the Seine-Saint-Denis suburb in northern Paris.
The organization said its activists were present for a peaceful action but were instead met with violence and insults.
A video circulating on social media showed pro-Zemmour supporters and members of his security team violently assaulting the activists, including women, throwing chairs and hurling abuse.
Zemmour himself came under attack as he was walking through the crowd towards the stage to begin his speech when an audience member tried to grab him by his neck. The police arrested the man on charges of “premeditated violence” and another 50 people for disturbing public order, unauthorized assembly and carrying weapons, BFMTV news reported.