PARIS | Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched Saturday, for the ninth consecutive week, in many cities of France to denounce the health passport, on the eve of the entry into force of the vaccination obligation for health professions.
In Lille (north), Clermont-Ferrand (center) or Paris, nursing assistants, nurses or physiotherapists have joined the ranks of processions to denounce this measure which will be imposed on them from next Wednesday, under penalty of being suspended.
“We are up against the wall. On September 15, colleagues and I will be suspended without pay. The health system did not need that ”, despairs Corinne, nursing assistant for 30 years, came from the east of France to demonstrate in Paris.
In the parade of Bordeaux (south-west), her colleague Maria, 50, denounces “a dictate” of the authorities. “We are threatened to stop our wages if we are not vaccinated”, she enraged, “it is a total injustice”.
After three weekends of decline, the authorities themselves predicted a surge in mobilization, a heterogeneous coalition of anti-ax, “yellow vests”, far-right activists or, more generally, people opposed to the government.
About 170,000 protesters were expected across France, including 30,000 in Paris, a police source told AFP. The Interior Ministry had counted 140,000 demonstrators last Saturday and 165,000 the previous week.
This Saturday, according to the prefectures, they were 1,200 in Strasbourg, 1,700 in Rennes and Vannes, more than 2,000 in Lyon, 3,000 in Montpellier or Nice, 2,500 in Toulon and almost as many in Bordeaux.
In Paris, the demonstration of the “Patriots” led by Florian Philippot, ex-number 2 of Marine Le Pen at the forefront of the fight against the passport, brought together a few thousand people at the Trocadéro, noted an AFP journalist.
Speakers described the vaccine and the health passport as “barbarism”, a factor of “segregation” or “apartheid”.
A few incidents were reported in Paris at midday around the Champs-Élysées, where the police fired tear gas canisters. Several people were arrested, according to a police source.
Other clashes between “yellow vests” and the police in the afternoon.
Mandatory since July 21 in places hosting more than 50 people, the health passport has been extended to access to hospitals, except emergencies, bars, large shopping centers and 1.8 million employees in contact with the public.