The Interior Ministry announced 105,200 participants across France, four times more than the 25,500 of the previous mobilization on December 18.
In Paris, three processions gathered 18,000 people, and there were 87,200 in the streets in the rest of the country, according to the Interior Ministry. Ten police officers were injured and 34 people arrested.
The most important Parisian demonstration brought together thousands of people to call for
Patriots of the far-right presidential candidate Florian Philippot, returning to the level of the mobilizations of this summer, when the health passport was announced.
Macron, we don’t want your pass,
Hands off the kidschanted the demonstrators, many of whom carried a French flag, amid a few royalist fleur-de-lis.
If the law passes, we will no longer be able to go to school, we will no longer be able to work, estimated a young man of 17 close to the ideas of Florian Philippot, who does not want
injecting a vaccine during the experiment.
A 57-year-old librarian, declaring herself instead
green and on the far left, wanted to protest against
the pass which becomes a disguised vaccination obligation, while vaccines produce, according to her,
A demonstration that looks like a political encounter
The Parisian demonstration took on the appearance of a political meeting, several far-right personalities coming to give their support: via video message, Marion Maréchal, the niece of the candidate of the National Assembly for the presidential election Marine Le Pen, the very conservative Jean-Frédéric Poisson, support of Eric Zemmour (another far-right presidential candidate), or the former adviser to former US President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.
A police source described the gathering as
tense. Just like the one held on Boulevard de l’Hôpital (in the south-east of Paris), on the initiative of
yellow vests, this social movement that shook France in 2018 and 2019, which also found levels of mobilization similar to those at the beginning of the summer.
The words of Emmanuel Macron, who said this week to want to “piss off” the unvaccinated, sparked a political storm in the midst of the National Assembly’s examination of the bill transforming the health passport into a vaccine passport, adopted in pain Thursday. The text must pass before the Senate next week.
In Lyon (east), a small crowd of demonstrators of all ages and little masked gathered in a good-natured atmosphere in the center. Slogans denouncing
social apartheid and boos against President Macron punctuated the demonstration.
In Bordeaux (southwest), between 500 and 1,000 people, according to the police, and 9,000 according to the organizers, demonstrated despite the rain under the cries of
Macron, we fuck you.
When will we see a respect vaccine?,
Broken trust, could we read on the signs.
A Bordeaux protester, unvaccinated against COVID-19
but not anti-vaccine, said scroll
for the first time in his life because the president’s words have
broke the camel’s back.
Clashes between demonstrators and the police were reported in Montpellier (south, 3,700 people) and Toulouse (southwest, 2,200 people), according to the authorities.
The mobilization peak of opponents of the restrictions was reached on August 7, with 23,7000 demonstrators across France.
Pressure on hospitals
In total, 79% of the French population have received an injection and 77.1% have a complete vaccination schedule. More than 28.2 million people have received a booster dose.
The pressure remains strong on French hospitals on Saturday, with more than 3,800 COVID-19 patients followed in critical care (+243 in 24 hours), according to the French public health agency.
The rate of contamination is not slowing down, with 303,669 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours.
The disease has killed at least 125,349 people since the start of the epidemic in the spring of 2020. A total of 143 new deaths were recorded on Saturday.