Hundreds of French Students Blocked University Buildings in Paris, Protesting Over Presidential Choice

France Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 16, 2022

Students in Paris

Hundreds of students have blocked university buildings in Paris on Thursday, expressing frustration over France’s 2022 presidential election.

As Euronews reports, the reason leading to protest is because the protesters see a limited choice between the centrist leader Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen during the presidential election taking place next Sunday (April 24th, 2022).

The police in Paris have received reports about several incidents occurring during the protest. Police have used tear gas to prevent more students from joining the protest.

According to the protesters, neither Macron or Le Pen will do anything for the environment protection and for citizens struggling financially.

At the political sciences institute Sciences-Po, where Macron has pursued studies, left-wing protesters have blocked the university’s entrance with bins and banners. One of the signs that students were holding read the message: “Sorbonne occupied against Macron, Le Pen and their world.”

According to the report, many students joining the protest support the left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon who lost elections by one percentage point to Le Pen in the first round of the presidential vote.

“We tried Emmanuel Macron and we didn’t like it, and Le Pen in power — we don’t even want to try it, it is a repulsive possibility,” one student told Euronews.

Student Gabriel Vergnes also told the media that they want a candidate who represents the youth interests who are concerned with issues related to the environment, feminism, LGBTQ, social issues, and more.

“We now have a second round with only two right-wing candidates who are the enemies of the workers and of the youth, and we can’t accept that, we can’t accept five more years of austerity and pollution,” Vergnes told Euronews.

Among the reasons why some voters do not support Macron is because they see him as the “president of the rich,” whereas Le Pen is not supported because of her criticism of Islam as well as her anti-immigration stances.

There are 12 candidates, four women and eight men running for the French presidency, but according to the polls, Macron is leading in the presidential election at the moment, with Marine Le Pen close behind.

The first round of the presidential election in France was held on April 10, while the second round is expected to be held on April 24 between the top two candidates.

Emmanuel Macron was elected as the President of France in 2017, becoming thus the youngest president in the history of the country. He has still a significant influence in the French politics.

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