After his criticized candidacy announcement, Eric Zemmour intends to make a show of force during his first presidential campaign meeting on Sunday in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), in a day “at risk” according to the police, with anti-Zemmour mobilized.
The far-right candidate gathered his troops at the Parc des Expositions in the afternoon, behind his new slogan “Impossible is not French”, an expression attributed to Napoleon.
“It’s one of the biggest meeting rooms for a few years”, “it’s absolutely crazy”, insists the spokesperson Antoine Diers, who says he is “very happy” if his candidate brings together more than 10,000 people.
The director of events for Mr. Zemmour, Olivier Ubéda, claims to have identified 19,000 registrants. More than 400 journalists are accredited.
The polemicist modeled his calendar on the LR congress, who chose their champion Valérie Pécresse on Saturday, with a more moderate profile than his rival Eric Ciotti.
Like Marine Le Pen, his competitor on the far right, Eric Zemmour invited the disappointed among LR voters to join him, in an open letter where he attests to them: “We are so close and have so much in common”.
The former regional adviser RN Agnès Marion will attend the meeting on Sunday and could be given responsibilities in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. She “hopes” for a speech around “the great downgrading” and the “great replacement”, this conspiracy theory regularly claimed by Eric Zemmour of the replacement of European populations by non-European immigrants.
– Silencing Zemmour –
Initially planned at the Zénith, at La Villette, the meeting was finally relocated to Villepinte, about twenty kilometers away. Eric Zemmour’s team explains it by “popular enthusiasm” but also admits security reasons, while a demonstration is planned in Paris.
About fifty trade unions, parties and associations called for demonstrations from Barbès to la Villette to silence Eric Zemmour.
According to police sources, the demonstration and the meeting at the Parc des Expositions are considered “at risk”. The police are expecting a few thousand people in the capital and around a hundred ultra-left activists in Villepinte, where they fear clashes with pro-Zemmour activists in an attempt to prevent the meeting from taking place.
The PS president of Seine-Saint-Denis Stéphane Troussel, for his part, launched a petition to cancel the meeting by the owners of the place, the Viparis group, calling him on his “diversity charter” that he judges “incompatible” with the reception of the former columnist. The approach scandalized the Zemmour camp.
During the meeting will be revealed the name of the party, with paid membership, as well as the “scenography” of the candidate who will accompany him throughout his campaign.
It will make it possible to measure the rallies, while the organization is criticized internally for its fragility and more radical activists have integrated the organization of the campaign.
The financier Charles Gave withdrew his support, after having lent 300,000 euros, and the sovereignist Philippe de Villiers will not be present on Sunday.
– Identity –
For the new party, the former megretist and close to identitarians Grégoire Tingaud will be responsible for coordinating the regional referents, including the former executive of the Identity Bloc Philippe Milliau, current president of TV Libertés, who will deal in particular with Brittany.
The former conservative deputy Jean-Frédéric Poisson, of the small party “VIA the voice of the people” (ex-Christian Democratic Party), announced Friday that he was giving up his candidacy to line up behind that of Eric Zemmour, who ‘he will applaud in Villepinte before dealing with the legislative elections.
General Bertrand de la Chesnais, former head of the list for the RN in the 2020 municipal elections in Carpentras (Vaucluse), who is already working on defense issues for the candidate, could be appointed campaign manager.
The mayor of Béziers Robert Ménard, support of Marine Le Pen (RN) and friend of Eric Zemmour, said he hoped for “proposals” on Sunday. He had judged his candidacy announcement of an “apocalyptic darkness”, like the whole of the political class.
In addition to its tone, Eric Zemmour’s video had been criticized for its amateurism with the use of images without having the rights. The candidate then appeared tense at 8 p.m. on TF1, then got carried away against presenter Gilles Bouleau, with insulting remarks leaving the stage.
“There is a change to be made. He did not appear to be ultra-polished, but suddenly we see that he is not a politician in the sense of a politician. It will be interesting to see the polls in a week,” puts it into perspective. ex-RN Agnès Marion.