(Paris) As France celebrates its national day on July 14, Wednesday, more than 19 thousand people, according to the authorities, demonstrated in the country in the name of “freedom” to protest against the declarations of Emmanuel Macron’s passport health, vaccination and “dictatorship”.
Some moves began in the morning, when the military parade was being held on the famous Champs Elysees, under the gaze of the head of state who presided over these festivities for the last time in his five-year term.
Subject of controversy: Remarks by the President on Monday evening, who announced the establishment of a commitment to vaccination for caregivers and other professions, as well as the extension of the health passport to most public places.
Some of these measures will come into effect this summer, prompting many Frenchmen who had hitherto been reluctant or skeptical to take up vaccination backups. Since these announcements, more than two million French people have already made appointments on Doctolib for vaccination, the administrators of this platform told AFP on Wednesday.
Most of the French agree
According to an Elab poll published on Tuesday, the measures announced by the head of state on Monday were approved by a majority of the French people. The vast majority (76%) specifically adhere to vaccination for nursing staff and other professions.
In the name of “freedom”, the opposition expressed their discontent on Wednesday.
In Paris, several processions, according to the Ministry of the Interior, gathered 2,250 people at the height of the demonstrations, part of the Places de Republic and Clichy.
At the end of the afternoon, on Magenta Boulevard, there were some incidents and the police used tear gas, an AFP journalist noted.
The declared route was not respected, regretting the police boycott in a tweet, denouncing the throwing of projectiles and the fires of garbage cans.
“Against the dictatorship”, “against sanitary traffic” can be heard in the ranks of the demonstrators.
Jan Fontaine, a 29-year-old notary, came from Berry to demonstrate in Paris. Refusing to label the “conspirator”, he explained to AFP that the health passport “is a class”. “Macron plays on fears, it is disgusting. In my entourage, I know people who will be vaccinated just to be able to take their children to the cinema, not to protect others from severe forms of COVID-19,” he lamented.
Not guinea pigs
And 53 demonstrations took place in several cities in France, according to the Ministry of the Interior. Many planned for the weekend.
At 6 pm, the ministry counted just over 19,000 demonstrators, including 1,500 in Toulouse, 1,400 in Chambéry, 1,200 in Montpellier, 1,200 in Bordeaux, 800 in Annecy, and even 800 in Nantes.
In Lyon, where 1,400 people demonstrated, tensions erupted in the city center.
A group of anti-vaccination opponents also forcibly attacked the gate of the province of Haute-Savoie in Annecy, without causing further damage.
An AFP journalist noted that about 300 people gathered in the afternoon night.
“Freedom, freedom,” “No Compulsory Vaccination,” and “We are not guinea pigs,” the crowd chanted, and among them were some white coats and a handful of yellow jackets.
Yellow Vests are planning several demonstrations against the health passport.
Charlotte, in her 30s, a saleswoman, first posed alongside her father who said she had health problems after the meningitis vaccine. “After (Emmanuel) Macron’s speech, I felt a great revolution,” said this mother of two children, “not revolutionary at heart,” seeing in the health passport “a scattered obligation, so as not to use the word ‘compulsory’”.
Searching for fake certificates
In Bordeaux, one mother explained that she was looking for “resistive doctors” in order to “give false vaccines” to her two children.
“With vaccines, we want to force us to drive cars that haven’t been crash-tested,” asserted Baptiste, who presented himself as a “yellow jacket from the start.”
A venue operator who does not meet future health passport control obligations will be liable to a fine of up to 45,000 euros (nearly $67,000 Canadian) and a year in prison, according to the draft law that includes the new provisions announced by Emmanuel. Macron.