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Chaos In Paris During May Day March

Chaos erupted on the streets of Paris as a May Day workers' march saw riots break-out in protest against Marine Le Pen.
Fighting broke out in central Paris during a rally held close to the Place de la Bastille, where protestors shouted ‘Fascists out!’.

They were furious that Ms Le Pen, 48, has got through to the second round of the election to choose a new head of state.

Ms Le Pen will go head-to-head against independent favourite Emmanuel Macron, 39, on Sunday.
"She represents racism and hatred, that’s why we’re opposing her," said one left-wing activist Nicole, aged 22.

"Thousands of us have come out on the street to stand up for justice and decency, and to show our shame at these fascists hoping to take over," she added.

As Nicole smoke police took part in running battles with riot police, who used tear gas and baton charges to try and restrain the crowds.
More than 9,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers were on duty to try and prevent trouble on what is traditionally a day of protest across France.

Today Ms Le Pen addressed National Front (FN) supporters at the Exhibitions Park at Villepinte, north-east of Paris, calling on ‘nationalist France’ to rise up.

Earlier her father, Jean-Le Pen, the convicted racist and anti-Semite Jean-Marie Le Pen, had laid a wreath of Joan of Arc in Paris.

Mr Le Pen, who remains the honorary president of the FN and who is funding his daughter’s election campaign with a loan worth more than £6m, told supporters to vote in their masses.

He was a frequent presidential candidate, and came second to the conservative Jacques Chirac in 1995.

Mr Macron meanwhile taunted his far-right rivals by visiting the spot where her FN supporters murdered a Moroccan immigrant.

Mr Macron paid a moving tribute at the Carousel Bridge, in central Paris, where Brahim Bouarram was killed by neo-Nazis attached to the party exactly 22 years ago today.

At the time Ms Le Pen was an up-and-coming FN politician, having unsuccessfully stood for a parliamentary seat in the French capital.
The four men involved in Bouarram’s killing were all in the same FN cortege as Ms Le Pen and her father as they paid homage to Joan of Arc on May Day 1995.

Referring to the Bouarram tribute, a member of Mr Macron’s En Marche! (On the Move!) political movement said: "Emmanuel Macron was determined to honour Brahim and in turn to show what the FN is all about."

Bouarram, a married father-of-two, was first of all attacked by the FN supporters, who chanted racist slogs, before throwing him into the River Seine, where he was left to drown.

His murder – for which four attackers were eventually convicted – caused shockwaves in the middle of the 1995 presidential election, which was contested by Mr Le Pen.

Francois Mitterand, the then Socialist head of state, stopped campaigning between the two rounds as 12000 people gathered on the bridge to pay tribute to Bouarram.

Ms Le Pen, who came second in this year’s first round, has been desperately trying to distance the FN from its xenophobic image.

Last week she stood down as leader of the party, saying she wanted to become France’s first female president as a candidate of the whole country.
But Mr Macron has constantly been reminding people of the FN’s roots, including Ms Le Pen’s personal links with neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.

Earlier this month, Ms Le Pen caused outrage by claiming that the French were not responsible for the round-up of Paris Jews during the Second World War.

She is currently trailing in opinion polls, which suggest that the independent Mr Macron will win Sunday’s poll by as much as 60 per cent.

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