Saturday, July 31, 2021

Massive Protests Take Place Throughout Paris: 'We Are Not Guinea Pigs', 'It Is Our Choice'

Thousands march through Paris holding placards saying 'we are not guinea pigs' and 'it is our choice' in opposition to compulsory jabs and vaccine passports

  • Pictures from Paris show thousands of anti-vaxxers marching through city in opposition to vaccine passports
  • Government approved bill which means vaccine passport requirement introduced for most places in August
  • Passport requires people to be vaccinated, to provide a negative test or proof of recent recovery from Covid
  • Four separate protests are being held in Paris today with similar protests also taking place in other cities 

Thousands of demonstrators fought running battles with police in Paris today as protests against a vaccine passport were held across France.

Around 150 separate events were organised in major cities and town after the government used emergency powers to bring in new anti-Coronavirus measures.

By early afternoon on Saturday, tear gas and baton charges were being used against violent groups in Paris.

Four marches descended on the Place de la Bastille, where water cannons and squads of gendarmes and CRS riot police were waiting for them.

'Some of the marches are illegal, and they are being joined by anarchist groups who are not directly linked to the protest,' said one officer at the scene.

More than 160,000 people marched in Paris and other major cities in protest against President Emmanuel Macron's vaccine drive last weekend, and a similar number was expected this Saturday.

Many of the protests were organised by the so-called Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vest anti-government movement.

Named after their distinctive fluorescent motoring jackets, they have been behind a series of riots in cities like Paris over the past three years.

Mr Macron's decision three weeks ago to overcome the hesitation of millions of French by all but compelling them to vaccinate is supported by up to 65 per cent of the population, according to polls.

An emergency bill imposing the health pass for access to cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, trains and long-distance buses was passed by parliament last week, and will come into effect on Monday.

But the measures have triggered fury among a minority, channelling hostility towards the President.

Anti-vaccine health workers in their white coats were among those marching at the head of crowds of people today.  

The pass requires vaccinations or a quick negative test or proof of a recent recovery from COVID-19 and mandates vaccinations for all health care workers by mid-September.

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