During the first campaign rally of French presidential candidate Éric Zemmour, supporters beat up a group of anti-racism activists.

Five of them were injured.

Zemmour ran for election last week in April 2022. Who is he?

Zemmour's controversial statements about Islam and migration have sparked a lot of resistance.

He goes further than Marine Le Pen, who leads the right-wing Rassemblement National.

Zemmour has noted that Muslims are "colonizing" his country and suggested banning foreign first names such as Mohammed and Kevin.

He is sometimes described as the French Trump.

Le Pen accuses him of needlessly causing division.

During the campaign rally on Sunday, Zemmour announced the name of his new party: Reconquête.

"If I win this election, it will not be another change of power, but a recapture of the greatest country in the world," the presidential candidate said.

During his speech of nearly an hour and a half, he promised to reduce immigration and lower taxes to the cheers of the approximately 10,000 supporters present.

His slogan reads: "Impossible n'est pas français" (loosely translated: the word impossible is not French), an expression attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Convicted of inciting racial hatred

The 63-year-old former journalist, writer and media personality has been convicted twice for inciting racial hatred.

When he officially ran for election last week, he said he wanted to "save France" and that many voters no longer recognize their own country.

The demonstration in Paris was organized by about fifty trade unions, parties and associations.

According to them, about 10,000 people were present.

Police estimate this number at 2,200.

Zemmour actually wanted to hold his campaign meeting on the site of the demonstration.

The police decided to move it to Villepinte, a place 20 kilometers from Paris for security reasons.

As Zemmour made his way through the crowd to the stage to deliver his campaign speech, he was grabbed hard by the neck by a man in the audience.

Security guards were able to intervene quickly.

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