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Protester tackled to the ground after holding up picture of Le Pen and Putin shaking hands

After holding up a sign in the shape of a heart and showing a photo of Vladimir Putin and the French presidential candidate, a protester was thrown to ground and dragged away from Marine Le Pen’s press conference.

Footage shows Pauline Rapilly Ferniot (Green city councillor for Boulogne Billancourt commune in Paris), getting up and holding the sign, while Ms Le Pen speaks to reporters.

The security guard then throws Ms Ferniot on the ground, before she is pulled out of the room with one of her arms.

The city councillor is then seen being pulled in another room, before the doors close.


Continue reading: Will Marine Le Pen be able to convince enough voters that she can be ‘detoxified?

Ms Ferniot belongs to a left-wing group called The Ibiza Collective. It was founded in France by the education minister, who went on vacation to the Balearics islands following the pandemic.

After she was removed from conference, Ms Ferniot stated: “We just wanted it to be obvious that Marine Le Pen’s diplomacy involves being complacent with dictators. So we made that clear.”

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“Remember that she was a strong friend of Vladimir Putin for a long period and that we were a bit forgetting that today.

“And the Ibiza Collective’s objective is to highlight topics that we don’t think we discuss enough. So it worked because you’re all talking with me about what I wanted to show. We need to be reminded, in these two-rounds, of the danger that is National Rally.”

Image: Pauline Rapilly Ferniot was knocked to the ground and threw by a security guard. Pic: BFM
Image: After holding the sign, the protestor was taken into another room. Photo by BFM

Ms Le Pen, a far-right presidential candidate, stated that Ms Ferniot was attacked to the ground by an interior ministry security officer. However French media claim that he was part of the presidential candidate’s own security team.

Ms Le Pen, leader of the National Rally party used the conference as a warning against the sending of more weapons to Ukraine.

She also called for better relations between NATO, Russia and after the war.

Explainer – When are the French presidential election? Who is running and how does it work?

An outspoken nationalist with long-standing ties to Russia, the outspoken nationalist also said she would pull France out NATO’s military command and reduce French support for EU, if she wins the election of 24 April.

French President Emmanuel Macron is a pro-EU centrist and is fighting to remain in power. This is partly because of the economic effects of war on poor households.

Image: Ms Ferniot stated that she wanted to remind people about Marine Le Pen’s connections with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pic by BFM
Image: Marine Le Pen, a vocal nationalist with long-standing ties to Russia, is this image. Pic: AP

France’s European partners worry that Le Pen’s possible presidency could weaken western unity, as the US and Europe try to support Ukraine and end Russia’s war.

When asked about military assistance to Ukraine, Ms Le Pen replied that she would continue intelligence and defense support.

“(But) I am more reserved about direct weapons deliveries. Why? Why?

Gabriel Attal, a French government spokesperson, stated that France had recently sent weapons worth EUR100m (PS82m), to Ukraine as part of an ongoing flow of western arms.


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