French far-right ‘provocateur’ Éric Zemmour was placed in a headlock by a protester at his first political rally on Sunday, just days after entering the country’s presidential race on an anti-migrant platform that has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump’s.
Videos online appeared to show a man lunging toward Zemmour as he walked toward the stage to deliver his campaign pitch, and grabbing Zemmour by the neck before security officials intervened.
Zemmour was injured in the scuffle but went on to deliver a speech lasting nearly an hour and a half, promising a “reconquest of the greatest country in the world” if he wins the election. A doctor later ordered him to rest for nine days, Le Monde newspaper reported.
The former journalist and political commentator announced his candidacy for April’s presidential election last Tuesday in a divisive video that highlighted his anti-migrant and anti-Islam views.
At Sunday’s rally in the Paris suburbs, Zemmour declared he was launching a new party named Reconquête, French for “reconquest” – a term that recalls a historic period known as the Reconquista, in which Christian forces battled to expel Muslims from the Iberian peninsula.
“The reconquest is now underway. The reconquest of our economy, the reconquest of our security, the reconquest of our identity, the reconquest of our sovereignty, the reconquest of our country,” he told the crowd, according to Le Monde.