Police arrested 29 left-wing anti-fascist demonstrators in Paris on Sunday night following the first-round results of the French presidential elections, showing centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen getting the most votes.
Following the announcement of the results, a large number of anti-fascists demonstrators went to the streets at the historic Place de la Bastille protesting the results. The protest quickly turned violent as the Antifa groups started hurling glass bottles and firecrackers and setting cars on fire. AFP reported that at least five vehicles were set ablaze.
The anti-fascist groups clashed with the police, leaving six officers and three rioters injured. Local French media reported that several businesses were attacked. Police have reportedly arrested 29 people overnight, but according to the UPI news agency, the figure could be as high as 143.
Most left-wing rioters were angry with the election results, in which none of the traditional candidates managed to get to the second round, paving a way to outsiders like Marine Le Pen and Emanuel Macron.
“We have come here to protest against the pantomime of this election,” one protester told AFP.
According to The Telegraph, shortly after the results were announced, protesters arrived to the square waving red flags shouting “No Marine and No Macron” among other chants. Another 300 protesters gathered at Place de la Republique to protest the results.
Macron and Le Pen will now face each other in a election on May 7. Macron, being considered an outsider despite his previous government position, has been endorsed by President Francois Hollande of the Socialist party.
The politician also boasted about a phone conversation he received from former US president Barack Obama, in which they discussed “progressive values” as Obama wished Macron luck. Obama’s office denied the allegations that he’s endorsed Macron.
Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigrant National Front party, has accused Macron of being “weak” in the fight against Islamic terrorism in the country. She has pledged to “put back France in order.”