Several tens of thousands of people gathered again on Saturday in the streets of Paris and many cities in France to shout their opposition to the health pass imposed by the government, a few days before the start of the school year.
In the capital, several processions started in the early afternoon with cries of “freedom” or “resistance”, for the seventh week in a row, noted AFP journalists.
“I am not against the vaccine but against the vaccine passport,” said David Vidal Ponsard, a member of the Patriots movement of the former National Front Florian Philippot, who gathered his troops around the Military Academy.
“The vaccine is not the solution,” added Hélène Vierondeels, retired from National Education. “We should rather stop closing the hospital beds, continue the barrier gestures,” she continued in the midst of the tricolor flags waved by the demonstrators.
Widely populated by “yellow vests”, a competing parade started from the Place de la Bourse, denouncing pell-mell the “propaganda” of the media and the government on the vaccine against the Covid-19, the “piquouze” or the “Nazi pass”.
Since July, hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life – former “yellow vests”, “anti-tax” activists, conspiracy theories or opponents of Emmanuel Macron – have been pounding the pavement every Saturday, without any notable incident so far.
Over the past two weeks, the wave of protesters has recorded a sharp decline which may continue.
The authorities thus anticipate this Saturday “between 140,000 and 180,000 demonstrators” throughout the territory, according to a police source. The Ministry of the Interior had identified 175,000 last Saturday, the militant collective The Yellow Number 361,818 “minimum”.
Asked about the dispute, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran assured this week that “the last reluctance is falling in the face of the success of the health pass”.
– “Scandal” –
This device, to be presented in bars, restaurants, long-distance transport or even hospitals, could be extended beyond November 15, the limit set by law, “if the covid does not disappear from our lives”, warned Mr. Véran.
In addition to Paris, demonstrations took place in more than 200 cities in the country, from Rennes to Toulouse, via Lyon, Lille, Valence and Perpignan.
“This pass is a scandal”, launched in Rennes Virginie, a 46-year-old market gardener who did not wish to reveal her surname. “This vaccine is still experimental, I think it is not reliable at all, even more dangerous than the Covid, which is no worse than a big flu”.
According to health authorities, the Covid-19 epidemic has already caused more than 114,000 deaths in France.
Since August 16, the health pass also applies in many shopping centers. From Monday, it will be imposed on employees of places where customers are requested. Employees refusing to present it may have their employment contracts suspended.
“I have already been summoned by the management, I do not know what I am going to do, because on the one hand I am radically opposed to being vaccinated, and on the other hand I risk losing my job, I I have a little girl to feed, “Nancy Peschtel, an educator specializing in a day hospital and subject to compulsory vaccination, told Toulouse.
“For me, putting ourselves in this situation is an unbearable trap,” she regretted.
“The health pass should not exist in a democracy, it is not normal to sort out the citizens”, for his part rebelled in Lille Marc, a 43-year-old computer scientist, who confided to have received him – even a first dose.
According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health, more than 48 million French people (71% of the population) have received at least one injection and 42.7 million the two prescribed doses.