Sat, 22 Jan 2022

Large protests held in France due to proposed Covid pass

Robert Besser
11 Jan 2022, 21:54 GMT+10

PARIS, France: More than 105,000 people took part in protests throughout France on January 8 to voice their opposition to the introduction of a new coronavirus pass.

In Paris, demonstrators held up placards as they marched through the streets.

The Interior Ministry reported that 34 people have been arrested and some 10 police officers injured during scuffles with protesters.

The demonstrations follow news of a draft law that would largely ban unvaccinated people from public life in France.

The bill passed during an initial reading in the lower house of the French parliament. Among its provisions, the bill would remove the option of showing a negative Covid-19 test to gain access to a host of public locales.

Instead, only those fully vaccinated could enter many public spaces, including bars and restaurants.

The government announced that the new law could come into force as early as January 15.

Those protesting on Saturday said the government was limiting their freedoms and treating citizens unequally.

Others protesters condemned French President Emmanuel Macron, after comments he made during an interview with Le Parisian newspaper in which he said, regarding the unvaccinated, that he wanted to "piss them off".

In response to the interview, some 18,000 people marching in Paris chanted "We'll piss you off."

The turnout for this latest round of protests was estimated to be four times higher than the last major demonstrations on 18 December, when some 25,500 people marched across the country.

Still, recent polling indicated that most Frenchmen support the vaccine pass.

Even though France is one of the most highly vaccinated countries in Europe,
new Omicron coronavirus infections are rising rapidly across France.

On January 7 France recorded more than 300,000 new cases.

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