A series of violent clashes erupted in Paris, France, after students across the city barricaded the entrances to their high schools to protest the results of the first round of presidential election, leading chants against centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen.
The demonstrators organized the protest, named as #BlocusNeFnNiMacron or “Block the National Front and Macron,” through social media to take a stand against Le Pen’s anti-immigration policies and Macron’s pro-business campaign.
The protesters, most of them wearing black masks, marched through eastern Paris toward the neighborhood of the Bastille holding banners and placards with messages like “No fatherland, no boss, no Le Pen, no Macron” and “Neither the banker, nor the racist.”
As the BuzzFeed reported, the students also chanted things like “the world hates the national front” and “Not Macron, not Marine, not for country, not for boss.”
“I don't agree with either of them. I think it's a matter of choosing between the lesser of two evils,” commented a 17-year-old attending the rally, according to the Press TV.
At Lycee Voltaire in Paris where protesters have blocked the entrances pic.twitter.com/3zGtPXAyk4— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) April 27, 2017
Although the riot police had been keeping a close eye on the demonstrations, things got violent after some protesters overturned a recycling bin and began hurling bottles at the officers, prompting the law enforcement agency to use tear gas to disperse the growing crowd.
The police clashed with the students, most of whom are not even old enough to vote, for about two hours. During that period, protesters reportedly smashed various storefronts, vandalized bus stops, set trash cans on fire and attempted to disrupt the traffic.
A clip posted on social media even showed a demonstrator punching a hole through the window of a passing vehicle.
Protesters are stopping traffic. Just smashed through the window of a car passing through. pic.twitter.com/R2OZllTJXT— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) April 27, 2017
Here are a few other photos and videos from the citywide protest, involving students from about 20 schools.
The student activists are reportedly planning to hold another demonstration on May 1.