A man holds a poster with the words ‘Pass of shame’ during a protest against a health passport in FranceFrance Press agency
Posted 04/09/2021 16:11 | Updated on 04/09/2021 4:20 PM
PARIS – Thousands of people returned to the streets in several French cities, on Saturday (4), in protest against the health passport imposed by the government of Emmanuel Macron.
According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 141,000 people demonstrated across the country, nearly 20,000 fewer than last week.
Police arrested 21 people and an officer was slightly injured, according to the same source.
In the capital, Paris, thousands marched from the Eiffel Tower to the Esplanade des Invalides, chanting “Freedom!”
Every Saturday since July, hundreds of thousands of people from various groups in France have demonstrated against the mandatory certification, or “health permit,” in bars, restaurants, intercity transportation and even hospitals.
This diverse crowd includes groups such as “yellow vests”, anti-vaccination hardliners, those who support pointless conspiracy theories, and opponents of Macron’s government.
A complete certificate of vaccination, a negative coronavirus test in less than 72 hours, or a certificate of recovery in less than six months can be considered valid documents.
During the rally, some protesters booed customers in bars and restaurants, according to an AFP journalist.
Thousands of demonstrators marched in Marseille (southeast), the second largest city in the country, most of them without masks and waving the French flag.
A sign reads: “No to discrimination. No to intimidation: freedom.”
According to a survey conducted by the consultancy Odoxa Backbone, 67% of the French approve of the health passport, which President Macron does not rule out extending it beyond November 15.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already left more than 115,000 dead in France.
With the start of the school year and the return to work after the summer vacation (winter in Brazil), doctors are preparing for a possible increase in the number of cases. Today, the daily average is 17,000 coronavirus infections.
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