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French anti-jab protesters at Place Fontenoy, Paris, on 31 July, 2021. Photo: Twitter
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France: Significant rise in number of protesters against health pass

Opposition against the health pass in France has increased significantly. According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 204 090 demonstrators, including about 14 250 in Paris, marched in the country against mandatory jabs. In total, 184 marches against President Macron's draconian measures were identified.

Published: August 1, 2021, 11:07 am

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    But the leader of the Patriots party mocked the official numbers in a tweet showing a massive crowd in Paris alone. Florian Philippot tweeted that “even Kim Jong-un wouldn’t have dared” to minimize the count to such an extent. On Wednesday July 21, it became compulsory in France to present the health pass in order to enter all places of leisure likely to bring together more than 50 people.

    “When we started our demonstrations at the end of 2020, the Macron regime told us that there would never be a health passport in France, that vaccination would never be compulsory, and that the virus would disappear from vaccinated countries. We did well not to believe them and will continue to do so,” said Philippot.

    The bill currently under consideration by Parliament requires that the health pass also become mandatory in cafes, restaurants, shopping centers, retirement homes and trains, planes, interregional buses from August 1. Employees working in places where a health pass is mandatory will themselves have to present their pass to their employer, otherwise their employment contract will be suspended. From September 15, any caregiver who is not vaccinated would see their employment contract ended.

    Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Paris and other cities in France on Saturday again to protest against a new law requiring the “Green Pass” or health pass to enter restaurants and other venues. “I’m a nurse and I quit because I think we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be blackmailed,” said protester Hager Ameur. “I also think that we shouldn’t be told what to do, because we know that we were treated very badly during the first wave.” Denis, a 65-year-old Yellow Vest protester, told RT: “We want to denounce the dictatorship that Macron imposed.”

    The Covid-19 vaccination requirement for healthcare workers was denounced by the largest trade union, the CGT, voicing its opposition to the measure. In a press release published on Tuesday, the CGT federal sector of railway workers in the Lyon region said it would refuse to check health passes for train travel.

    Mobilization does not seem to be declining, on the contrary. For the third consecutive Saturday, authorities recorded a notable increase compared to the 161 000 people last week and 110 000 seven days earlier.

    In Paris, a first demonstration started from the Villiers metro station at 2 m in the direction of Place de la Bastille. Shortly before 3 pm, some scuffles with the police occurred near the Moulin-Rouge. Around 4 pm, tension rose near the Place de la République, where the police responded with tear gas. Protesters were shouting “no to dictatorship” and singing the Marseillaise.

    Journalists from public broadcaster France3 and BFMTV were attacked by demonstrators in Marseille. The police had to intervene at least once, the Bouches-du-Rhône prefecture told BFMTV.

    In Montpelier, protesters held up placards denouncing the “State Mafia”. Tensions mounted around a Covid screening tent in the city when marchers shouted: “assassin”, “collaborator”, and attacked the pharmacist carrying out the tests in rue de Maguelone.

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