On Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated across France, from Marseille to Lille, and from Montpellier to Paris, to challenge vaccination, denounce “dictatorship” or criticize the vaccine passport.
“Freedom”, “Macron’s dictator” … From the north of the country to the south, the slogans are the same.
In Paris, protesters marched against the latest health measures announced by President Macron, at least three separate rallies.
The first procession, consisting of a few thousand people, set off from the Palais-Royal in the center of the capital, before crossing the Seine with cries of “Liberty”, “No to the dictatorship of health” or “Macron’s resignation”. “.
At the head of the procession, as French flags flourished, was Florian Philippot, the former second-in-command of the National Front (a far-right party that became the National Rally), or the former inspirer of the Yellow Vests (the protest movement) born in France at the end of 2018) Jacqueline Moreau.
“I was born in Portugal under Salazar’s dictatorship and I don’t want to live it again,” said Fernanda, 53, who supports Florian Philippot. “It is the beginning of something very powerful in the resistance,” launched the latter, the 2022 presidential candidate, who is trying to materialize the structuring of resistance against the vaccine passport.
Some posts were also seen turning the yellow star direction with the mention of the “vaccine passport”.
Meanwhile, about 1,500 people demonstrated in the streets south of the capital, in a mixed procession, preceded by a security cordon.
“We are not at all anti-vaccine. We just want everyone to be free to get vaccinated or not. The PCR tests might be enough, and then you have to leave them free,” said O’Reilly and Tiffin, in their 30s, who both work in a Paris-area shopping mall .
Finally, a few dozen people participated in another unauthorized gathering in Republic Square.
“I am not a QR code”
On Monday, President Macron announced a package of measures to strongly encourage the French to vaccinate, in particular the universalization of the vaccination passport and the obligation to vaccinate for caregivers, in an attempt to stop the progression of the delta variable.
A large majority of French people approved of the measures, according to a poll published on Tuesday.
And the head of state wants to “put restrictions on the unvaccinated and not on everyone”, the vaccination permit to verify that a person has been vaccinated or is not contaminated at the entrances to various places such as cafes, restaurants and shopping centers in particular.
In Nice (south), they were around 1,600 to demonstrate, according to the authorities. And in the old port of Marseille, they numbered 4,250, pointing the finger at “sheep” being vaccinated, and “bad news” on TV.
“We have doubts about COVID-19 vaccines; it’s not that we think the Earth is flat, but that we don’t know the long-term effects of these hastily-assembled vaccines that Macron wants to impose on us,” summarized Rita, a caregiver of 39, at the Montpellier (south) procession. .
In the western half, mobilization appeared to be slightly lower. In Bordeaux (southwest), the number of demonstrators in the province, which issued a ban on demonstrations in the city center, reached 1,200 people.
In Toulouse (southwest), the province counted 2,500 demonstrators, as in Metz (east), including a few yellow jackets and white coats on the shoulders.
“No to the Nazi passport,” “Pandemic liar, real dictatorship,” “Pastor’s country, no passerby,” or “I am not a QR code,” one can read on the procession banners.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”