Around 200 people demonstrated on the campus of the University of Lausanne, where Emmanuel Macron went this Thursday, to protest against the president’s position deemed pro-Israel.
A more lively state visit than expected. Emmanuel Macron continued his trip to Switzerland this Thursday, November 16 with a stop at the University of Lausanne where he gave a speech on Europe before interacting with students.
His arrival on campus was, however, disrupted by some 200 people who came to protest against his presence and denounce his position on the war between Israel and Hamas.
Some demonstrators carried pots and pans and Palestinian flags. They marched chanting “Macron complicit!” and carrying banners reading “Stop Genocide” or “Free Palestine”, reports the Swiss press agency Keystone-ATS.
The fifty police officers on site used pepper spray to stop demonstrators who wanted to force the police cordon, according to the agency. After a few agitated minutes, calm returned, except for the “concert of pots and pans”. The demonstrators were surrounded by the police.
Important safety feature
Significant security measures were deployed on the campus and inside the amphitheater where the president spoke alongside Alain Berset, the president of the Swiss Confederation.
Representatives of student associations indicated on the stage of the lecture hall that the arrival of the two presidents had sparked an intense debate within the community. As of Wednesday, the French president had been questioned on the subject by the press and he then re-explained at length France’s position in the conflict: “balanced” and which “has never varied”.
“There cannot be a double standard,” Emmanuel Macron once again assured this Thursday, calling for “an immediate resumption of political dialogue to allow the Palestinian people to have a state.”
“The way to protect ourselves must not be total war without rules,” he said, referring to the Israeli bombings targeting the Gaza Strip since the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7.
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