A protester briefly placed far-right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour in a headlock as fighting broke out at his first campaign rally on Dec. 5.
In a video uploaded on Twitter, a man grabbed Zemmour and put him on a headlock when he was making his way towards the stage at an exhibition center in Villepinte, a suburb in Paris.
An aide told AFP News that the incident left Zemmour, a 65-year-old author and television commentator, with a wrist injury.
The incident occurred at the first event of Zemmour’s presidential campaign where he gave an hour and half.
“The stakes are huge: if I win it will be the start of winning back the most beautiful country in the world,” Zemmour told a crowd of supporters who cheered on his anti-immigration rhetoric.
Shortly after his speech, fighting broke out when Zemmour’s supporters threw chairs at activists who stood up with “No to Racism” written on their shirts.
“We wanted to do a non-violent protest. People jumped on them and started hitting them,” Aline Kremer from the group SOS Racisme told AFP News.
“Our activists were present at the Zemmour meeting in Villepinte to say no to racism in a peaceful manner. The video, of incredible violence, speaks for itself. Our activists here hit and insulted for recalling our anti-racist fight,” SOS Racisme said on Twitter.
At least two SOS Racisme members had visible blood on them as they were ejected from the auditorium, AFP News reported.
The scuffles between anti-racism activists and security guards continued outside the hall.
On Nov. 30, Zemmour, who has been nicknamed as the “French Trump,” announced that he is running for president in the April 2022 elections with his campaign focusing on reducing immigration.
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