A few days before the vaccination corridor goes into effect, these are powerful symbolic demonstrations. Across France, and in Paris, opponents of health measures, a health permit, the passage of a vaccine, or in general a vaccine against Covid-19, gathered on Saturday for a joint review. The demonstrators are calling for “freedom” and criticizing the “apartheid separation” imposed by the government, according to them, between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. 54,000 people demonstrated last Saturday.
Four marches in Paris
In Paris, where four demonstrations were announced, yellow vests marched in the morning between Place Enver and Place de la Nation, carried in the afternoon by the Les Patriotes de Florian Philippot movement, which gathered a crowd of all ages, including parents with their children. A procession of several hundred people, most of them unmasked, set out around 3 pm from Piazza Barcelona (16th century) to reach the 7th arrondissement.
Demonstrators in the procession carried banners “Freedom”, “Truth” and “No to apartheid” and French flags or the Cross of Lorraine. “Pass the vaccination, outright resistance! The demonstrators chanted “Macron, we…”. One banner declared, “I would rather die at the gates of freedom than die in the inferno of slavery,” while another depicted a syringe piercing Marianne. “Resist! Resist!” or even “Freedom!” chanted “Resist! Freedom!”
Among the protesters, Sophie, a 44-year-old lawyer, and Frank, a 56-year-old computer consultant, told AFP they had been vaccinated, but not their daughter, because they were against vaccinating children and teens. They explained that they were “anti-vaccination cards but not for Philibot”. For Frank, “the rhetoric of the authorities is incoherent and varies over time, depending on the possibilities,” and “we no longer know how to distinguish between right and wrong.” For her part, Sophie laments that “when the virus is less virulent, we put the vaccination card, when we can play natural hereditary immunity.”
Elsewhere in France
1,300 people demonstrated in major cities in France in Toulouse, according to the newspaper Send. The newspaper added that the police threw tear gas. In Lyon (Rhone), according to AdvanceThere were 700 demonstrators at the parade. There were 600 in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin) and 920 in Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), according to Latest news from Alsace. In Bordeaux (the Gironde), their number was only between 300 and 600, according to the newspaper Southwest. Already, on Saturday morning, 700 people gathered in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhone), according to the prefecture.
The vaccine lane will be published on Monday in France. It will then be necessary to be able to justify a vaccination status for those over 16 years of age to access recreational activities, restaurants, bars, fairs or interprovincial public transport. A negative test will not suffice, except for access to health facilities and services.