Several dozen opponents of Emmanuel Macron gathered Friday evening in front of the Bouffes du Nord theater where he spent the evening and tried to enter, before being repulsed by the police, according to concordant sources.
Thirty people tried to enter the theater, said the entourage of the presidential couple. Emmanuel Macron, who with his wife attended a performance, was "made safe" for a few minutes and then returned to see the play until the end.
The demonstrators did not manage to enter, confirmed the Paris Prefecture of Police.
The president, who likes to go out discreetly in Paris to go to a restaurant or a theater, left the place by car around 10 p.m. under police escort.
Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron were attending a performance of "La Mouche" when the militant journalist Taha Bouhafs, seated three rows behind, tweeted photos which incited activists to disrupt the show, according to a close associate of the president.
Journalist David Dufresne posted another message on Twitter about ten minutes before that of Tahar Bouhafs, signaling the presence of the president in the theater and calling to come and demonstrate outside the establishment.
"We were at Paris 7 university for a popular university, someone received a message saying that Macron was there, so we came to show that we are present, that there is a protest against the reform of the pensions but not only, "said Arthur Knight, one of the protesters.
"The president will continue to go to theatrical performances as he is used to. He will take care to defend the freedom of creation, so that it is not disturbed by violent political actions," said his entourage.
According to a judicial source, activist journalist Taha Bouhafs was then arrested and taken to the police station, without it being specified on Friday evening whether or not he had been placed in police custody.
"President @EmmanuelMacron @BouffesDuNord, intrusion @CFDT, greetings ceremonies of deputies @LaREM_AN and ministers prevented or canceled. The perpetrators of these attacks sow violence and discord. We will drive them back by the rally of the French and solidarity", reacted the bosses of LREM deputies Gilles Le Gendre.
"In what regime are we for a president, furious that demonstrators conspire him outside a theater, to arrest a journalist who was there and who dared to communicate on his presence? #Monarchy #liberezTaha ", accused Insoumis MP Eric Coquerel.
Little visible to the public for weeks, Emmanuel Macron has not been crowded since his visit to Amiens on November 21 and 22, before the pension reform.
On the 44th day of strike against the pension reform, several other targeted actions were carried out Friday by the opponents of the reform: an intrusion at the headquarters of the CFDT, favorable to the universal system of retirement by points denounced by the strikers and the blocking of the entrance to the Louvre pyramid.
Secretary of State Marlene Schiappa also denounced on Friday the "very threatening" attitude of opponents who took her to task Thursday evening at a public meeting and denounced attempts at intimidation.
"This violence is a disgrace to our democracy," reacted Mr. Macron in the early evening about the intrusion at the headquarters of the CFDT.
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© 2020 AFP