Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Why do French people smoke so much?'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya’s opposition leader to take poll dispute to Supreme Court

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's 'unprecedented transgression'

Read more

THE DEBATE

US racial tension - How far should freedom of speech be allowed to go?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Burkina Faso attack: How to restore security in the Sahel region?

Read more

THE DEBATE

India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence: Can the two countries ever reconcile?

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

India: Cows at heart of political debate

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Trump again blames both sides for Charlottesville violence

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron: The shadow of a doubt'

Read more

france 24 France

Femen gatecrash National Front rally in central Paris

© Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP | The honorary member of France’s National Front (FN) storms onstage during party-leader Marine Le Pen’s May day speech in Paris, on May 1, 2015

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-05-02

Topless Femen activists on Sunday interrupted the French far-right National Front’s (FN) annual May Day gathering for the second year running, baring their chests and toasting “The end of the FN” before being arrested.

At midday, the Femen militants, topless and clutching bottles of champagne, burst from a red van parked outside the party's headquarters at Porte de la Villette in northern Paris.

Their torsos were daubed with slogans including “Fascists stay in the shadows” and “Long live the end of the FN”.

Their protest was short lived as riot police controlling the gathering moved quickly to arrest them with the enthusiastic help of FN security guards.

Bystanders shouted “Put them under the wheels of your truck” and “Don’t be gentle with them”.

The official FN gathering this year, dubbed a “patriotic banquet”, took place earlier in the day at Saint Augustin in central Paris, in a break from tradition that usually sees far-right supporters march from another statue of Joan of Arc on Rue de Rivoli, next to the Louvre Museum, to nearby Opéra.

However, bitter infighting that saw FN leader Marine Le Pen oust her father Jean-Marie last year meant there were two different rallies at two different Joans and more airing of the family feud.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, 87, kicked out of the party for refusing to tone down racist and anti-Semitic comments, held court at the traditional spot in front of about 400 supporters where he woefully predicted a loss for the FN in next year's presidential elections.

Earlier, Femen posted a picture on Twitter of its topless militants mopping the ground outside Opéra, under the slogan: “We are proud to clean our democratic and secular streets of Marine Le Pen’s dirty hatred”.

Femen activists also gatecrashed the chaotic May 1 demonstration in 2015, when Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was not invited to speak, took to the podium in open defiance of his daughter.

Marine Le Pen denounced the 2015 Femen protest as “outrageous aggression” by “obscene harpies”.

Date created : 2016-05-01

  • FRANCE - UK

    Pro-Brexit camp demands travel ban on French ‘ally’ Le Pen

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's Jean-Marie Le Pen fined €30,000 for Holocaust comments

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    National Front founder Le Pen threatens to start rival party

    Read more

COMMENT(S)