On Friday, French protesters took a stand against the rise of right-wing populism by displaying a large banner across the Eiffel Tower. The banner, emblazoned with the motto of the French Republic, urged voters to resist Marine Le Pen and her far-right agenda.
It has since been confirmed that Greenpeace was behind the protest. The leader of the group’s French branch, Jean-Francois Julliard, appeared on a public radio station to explain why they organized the protest.
‘We wanted to say we are against the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism in France and in other countries. This is our way of reminding everybody they all need to mobilize to defend these values of Liberty Equality and Fraternity.’
The protest occurred two days before French voters go to the polls on Sunday in a second-round election which will determine who will be France’s next president. The winner of the election will hold office for five years.
Le Pen leads the far-right National Front and has pledged to withdraw France from the European Union and greatly reduce, if not halt completely, the number of refugees France has taken in. Many of her detractors consider Le Pen to be a racist and leader of a borderline fascist movement, but Le Pen’s supporters insist that she is fighting to safeguard French identity and democracy.
Her opponent is the moderate Emmanuel Macron who leads a fiscally conservative, but socially liberal party known as En Marche! (In motion!) Many of the Macron’s opponents from the first round of voting have endorsed him in order to stop Le Pen’s ascent to the presidency.
Even President Obama has thrown his support behind Macron due to how important he thinks the upcoming election is.
‘Because of how important this election is, I also want you to know I am supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead you forward. En March! Vive la France!’
President Obama’s endorsement may, in fact, help Macron considering that the former U.S. President is very popular in France. In fact, there was even a movement to draft him to run for President of France.
President Donald Trump has not directly weighed in on the matter, but he did note that last month’s terrorist attacks might help Le Pen.
‘I think that’ll probably help her because she is the strongest on borders and she is the strongest on what’s been going on in France.’
For more information on Greenpeace’s protest, check out this video below, courtesy of Reuters:
Featured image via Getty Images.