The protest march against the visit to Geneva by French far-right commentator and likely presidential candidate Eric Zemmour took place on November 24, 2021 in the centre of the Swiss city. Keystone / Martial Trezzini
Around 1,000 people protested in Geneva on Wednesday evening against a visit to the Swiss city by controversial French far-right commentator and likely presidential candidate Eric Zemmour.
This content was published on November 25, 2021 - 09:40 November 25, 2021 - 09:40
The protest march against Zemmour's visit took place in the evening near the Cornavin train station and in the Paquis district close to the lake. It was organised by an anti-fascist assembly of some 60 Swiss associations, unions and political parties who said they wanted to“leave no room for speeches that normalise fascism and racism”.
Zemmour, who has two convictions for hate speech and is known for his hardline position on issues like immigration, Islam and national identity, held meetings on November 24 with a handful of politicians from the Swiss People's Party and the Radical-Liberal Party.
He also met French emigrants for political fundraising purposes, according to Swiss public broadcaster RTS. In the evening, finally, he gave a conference for 300 people at the Hilton Hotel near Geneva Airport.
The City of Geneva had refused to rent one of its halls for the gathering“because of the risk to public order”. Prior to the visit, Geneva mayor Frédérique Perler told Swiss national broadcaster RTS that allowing Zemmour hold a conference in Geneva would go against the city's values and that Zemmour was not welcome. But the cantonal authorities, to whom the ultimate decision fell, decided not to ban it, saying the conference did not constitute a risk to public order.
Zemmour is currently being tried in France on charges of“public insult” and“incitement to hatred or violence” against a group of people due to their ethnic, national, racial or religious origin.
The essayist and commentator is widely expected to soon announce his candidacy in France's April 2022 presidential election. Some opinion polls show him just ahead of Marine Le Pen in the race for one of two places in the second-round runoff vote.
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