This past Tuesday, Emanuel Macron, the President of France, was assaulted by a man as he took an opportunity to interact with the public as part of an official visit to see the southeast edge of France.
The entire event was caught on video, however. In the video, we can see Macron as he moves towards a metal fence to greet and talk with members of the public. He walks up to a man wearing a green shirt, glasses, and a face mask on the other side of the fence and clasps arms with the man before the masked offender reaches across and slaps Macron across the face with his free hand.
A security detail that is manned by roughly 77 people, the Security Group for the Presidency of the Republic were there in a flash and took the man to the ground while pulling Macron away. In spite of the assault, Macron can be seen later walking back out to the fences again to still interact with the rest of the public present to see him.
Reportedly, the alleged assaulted yelled “Down with Macron-ism” as he hit the president, and started screaming “Montjoie, Saint-Denis,” which is the battle-cry and motto of the Kingdom of France, which may be a reference to Charlemagne’s banner.
The man in green, aged 28, has been arrested and is currently in holding in relation to the incident, along with a second 28-year-old man who was reportedly with the alleged assaulter. They have been accused of violence towards a person holding any public authority. The authorities in France are still investigating the event.
The incident took place during a visit, by the president, to a school in the village of Tain-l’Hermitage, which happens to be in the Drôme region of France.
Two people reportedly arrested. pic.twitter.com/4mxU7tOrMJ
— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) June 8, 2021
“A man indeed tried to hit the President of the Republic,” stated the Élysée Palace as part of a statement that was shared with CNN. “We have no further comments at this point. Exchanges with the crowd and handshakes resumed. The trip continues.”
Jean Castex, the Prime Minister of France, issued his condemnation of the violence as having no place in modern democracy
“Democracy is debate, dialogue, the confrontation of ideas, but it will never be violence, verbal aggression and even less physical,” read a translation of a tweet from Castex.
Back in April, Macron stated that he wanted to “go to the regions to take the pulse of the country, to get in contact with people,” which could have been interpreted as possible campaign stops. The presidential elections in France are slated to take place in roughly 10 months time.