Date: Tue, 10 Dec 96 11:19:07 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <>
Subject: Clashes Erupt After French Anti-Le Pen March

Clashes Erupt After French Anti-Le Pen March

Reuter, 9 December 1995

GRENOBLE, France, Dec 9 (Reuter)—Demonstrators protesting against French extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen clashed with police in the Alpine city of Grenoble on Monday and at least seven riot policemen were injured, police sources said.

The demonstrators threw stones and metal bolts and police responded with tear gas to keep them away from a building where Le Pen was inaugurating a new office of his anti-immigration National Front. Witnesses saw at least one demonstrator injured.

Earlier, a crowd estimated by police at 13,000 people marched through Grenoble in a protest against the growing strength of the National Front in France.

Grenoble says no to the National Front and We are all children of immigrants, read some of the banners in the crowd, a few hours ahead of a political rally which Le Pen was attending.

Leading the protest were Michel Destot, Grenoble's Socialist mayor, and the mayors of 20 nearby jurisdictions.

The party demands the expulsion of millions of immigrants, including those who live legally in France, and argues that native-born French people should get priority in receiving state benefits.

Le Pen won 15 percent of the vote in the first round of last year's presidential elections.

With unemployment at over 12 percent and crime a growing problem in urban areas, the party's scores have grown steadily in recent by-elections.