Zemmour was making his way to the stage of his inaugurate campaign event in the Paris suburb of Villepinte on Sunday when a man appeared to have charged at him, briefly locking his arms behind the candidate’s neck.
The incident was captured on video, which has been making rounds online.
Zemmour’s security detail promptly rounded up the individual, handing him over to police. The man was taken into custody on suspicion of “premeditated violence,” French BFM TV channel reported. The alleged attacker was known to police over his involvement in “common law offences,” the channel said.
Seemingly unperturbed by the incident, Zemmour proceeded to the stage, hosting a rally before some 12,000-strong crowd despite reportedly injuring his wrist in the melee.
At his first rally since declaring his presidential bid, Zemmour, known primarily for his anti-immigrant stance, also vowed to withdraw France from NATO. Popular talk show host-turned politician, Zemmour pledged to protect French businesses from American and Chinese corporations, raise workers’ compensation and remove the teaching of “inclusiveness” from school curriculum.
At one point the fired-up crowd broke out into singing the French national anthem, ‘La Marseillaise.’
The event was mired by violent clashes between Zemmour’s supporters and self-styled anti-racism activists. About a dozen members of SOS Racisme group showed up at the rally with a “No to Racism” banner, and claimed that they were attacked by Zemmour’s supporters.
One clip shows an unknown man hitting a woman, apparently a SOS Racisme activist, at the beginning of the showdown.
One of the female SOS Racisme activists was sporting a bloody face when later interviewed by the French media.
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