Antifa radicals, the sort who have brought violence against attempts to advance free speech at University of California, Berkeley, wrought havoc Monday on the streets of Paris.
A May Day march organized by left-wing activists in France’s capital descended into complete chaos after Antifa protesters and other radical leftists began violently attacking police officers.
At least four officers were injured after masked Anfita thugs attempted to hijack the march in a possible act of “resistance” against Marine Le Pen’s candidacy in the presidential election. One of the officers is in serious condition after being hit with a Molotov cocktail, according to reports.
“I pay tribute to the two injured CRS [French riot police],” tweeted Le Pen in French before news of more injured officers broke. “It’s this mess and this laxity that I don’t want to see anymore in our streets,” she wrote.
In addition to throwing improvised bombs at police officers, Antifa rioters vandalized a number of businesses and a bus stop, according to police. Rioters also appeared to throw fireworks and smoke bombs towards police officers. At least one flaming shopping cart was hurled towards law enforcement officers.
Harrowing video footage posted to YouTube by independent journalist Lauren Southern shows the rioters throwing bottles and what appears to be scrap metal at a group of riot officers, before the same group is struck with some type of incendiary device. French police also said they had made multiple arrests of people carrying illegal weapons.
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The Paris May Day march — an annual left-wing show of strength — is a regular occurrence, but this year’s march was particularly violent given that Le Pen made the runoff in the French presidential election. The yearly event was turned into an explicitly anti-Le Pen march.
The police were able to quickly isolate the violent Antifa agitators from the main body of the march, according to reports. Paris authorities were well prepared for the violence — over 9,000 armed police and soldiers were drafted for the day, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday morning.
May Day, while originally a spring festival with ancient European pagan roots, has become the semi-official holiday of socialists, communists, and anarchists worldwide.
In 1889 Raymond Lavigne, a member of the Second International, proposed mass action on May 1 in honor of the Chicago Haymarket strikes, which began the same day. By 1904 the observance had become officially accepted by socialists as “International Workers Day.”
The Antifa violence that erupted in Paris is becoming a sight all too familiar in America, although stateside the group’s targets are usually conservative civilians and not the police. Multiple right-aligned events at UC Berkeley have been marred by Antifa violence. But whether in California or France, Antifa’s tactics are always consistent.
Members of the group embed themselves into larger left-wing protests and demonstrations, often organized by — and largely composed of — people who have no intention whatsoever to commit violence.
From the relative safety of a larger, and largely nonviolent, crowd, Antifa criminals then proceed to launch attacks against their chosen targets, whether storefronts, officers of the law, or merely fellow citizens with whom they disagree.
While there have been no reports of violence at the time of this report, Antifa members were seen at a May Day demonstration in New York City’s Union Square.