Fears of far-right takeover spur widespread protests across France

Marches against a far-right surge were being staged in cities across France on Saturday – with hundreds of thousands of people calling on the nation to derail the anti-immigration National Rally’s hopes of taking control of parliament in upcoming snap elections.

Some 150 protests drew together crowds of people fearing the 30 June and 7 July polls will saddle France with its first far-right government since World War II.

Politicians and union staff were joined by feminist and LGBTQ+ groups, environmental NGOs and others seeking to block the far right at all costs as they denounced a political program that stirs up racism, hatred and homophobia.

Left-wing political figures marched side by side in Paris.

Among them were Greens party leader Marine Tondelier, France Unbowed leader Mathilde Panot, Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure, Communist Party spokesperson Ian Brossat and Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire.

Historic gains

Anti-racism demonstrators have been gathering daily ever since the National Rally (RN) made historic gains in the European Parliament elections on Sunday.

The RN took more than 30 percent of the vote cast in France – almost twice as much as President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Renaissance party.

The results prompted Macron to dissolve the National Assembly and call surprise elections in what experts warn is a major political gamble.

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