More than 105,000 people protested in France this Saturday against health permits and vaccinations. The Interior Ministry pointed out that the number of protesters was four times higher than the previous mobilization on December 18.
The mobilization follows President Emmanuel Macron’s statement that he wants to “irritate” those who have not been vaccinated.
Macron’s statements earlier this week sparked a political storm as the bill to convert the health pass into a vaccine pass was analyzed in the National Assembly, preventing non-vaccinated people from seeking trials to go to the cinema, theater or show. Long distance travel to a restaurant or on public transportation.
The law was approved by the lower house of the French parliament on Thursday and chaired by the Senate.
Demonstrations took place in dozens of cities, and in Paris, three processions brought in 18,000 people, while in other parts of the country 87,200 people took to the streets, according to the Interior Ministry. 10 police officers were injured and 34 were arrested. Police had to use tear gas to restore order in Montpellier.
In an interview with the Le Parisien newspaper, Emmanuel Macron accused those who had not been vaccinated against Covit-19 of being irresponsible and, with that irresponsibility, of not being French citizens.
Claiming Macron’s statements were “shocking and hurtful” he considered “discrimination and contempt”, an unvaccinated French pensioner filed a symbolic complaint on Wednesday against the French head of state for “slander and public threats by authority”.
“They impose restrictions that I respect, but it is unbearable for me to question the citizenship of those who have not been vaccinated,” Didier Lalande, 63, told AFP.
Pressure was strong in French hospitals today, with more than 3,800 patients in intensive care with Covit-19 (+243 in 24 hours), according to the French Public Health Agency.
The disease has killed more than 125,349 people since the outbreak began in the spring of 2020. In the last 24 hours, 143 deaths have been reported.
Overall, 79% of the French population has been vaccinated and 77.1% have been fully vaccinated. More than 28.2 million people already have booster size.