November 11, 2013
It was a first in France: a head of state jeered and the people doing the jeering were arrested.
French cops arrested around 70 people, Aljazeera reports, after they booed president Francois Hollande as his motorcade drove up the Champs-Elysees to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The protesters called Hollande a “socialist dictator” and demanded he step down immediately.
According to government officials, some of the protesters were from “far-right groups opposed to government policies such as same-sex marriages.”
“Today on the Champs-Elysees, several dozen individuals linked to the far right… did not want to respect this moment of contemplation and gathering,” said socialist Interior minister Manuel Valls.
“I find it absolutely shameful that we don’t have the right to speak up without being arrested,” said a woman. “Saying ‘Hollande, step down’ is not offensive.”
“We have the impression that he’s not listening so we have to protest,” she said.