They continue to pound the pavement. “Resistant Djokovic”, “Freedom”, “No to the vaccine”: opponents of the health pass, which will become a vaccine pass, demonstrated this Saturday in France, the same day when many deactivations were to take place for lack of vaccine recall anti covid.
In Paris, the most important procession was that of the Les Patriotes movement, of the pro-Frexit presidential candidate Florian Philippot. He set off around 3 p.m. from Trocadero, under a radiant sun, while demonstrations of “yellow vests” were taking place elsewhere in the capital.
The speakers at the podium made the crowd chant “Freedom Djokovic”, in Serbian: encouragement intended for the tennis champion that the Australian government does not want to let enter its soil for the Australian Open because he does not is not vaccinated.
Shared support at the other end of France: “Novak (Djokovic), it’s a bit our standard bearer at the moment”, assured Pascal, who was demonstrating in Bordeaux. Came with a handful of parents of children enrolled in a tennis school in the Bordeaux area, he says he wants to support the club coach who will lose his job because he does not want to be vaccinated.
In Paris, many French flags, regional flags – Corsican, Breton… – and a few lilies banners were flying in the wind. Some protesters called for far-right movements such as the Catholic fundamentalists in Civitas.
Most of the banners displayed hostility both to the pass and to the vaccines themselves: “It’s not a virus they want to control, it’s you” in Paris, or “Democracy in danger”, “Toxic vaccine ” in Rennes … ” It’s Nazism, apartheid, I’m not stung and I’m against vaccines in general “, annoyed Claire, a sexagenarian questioned in Paris, denouncing pell-mell ” a corrupt system and “instrumentalised media”.
Not far away, Laurence and Anne-Sophie displayed a more measured speech by brandishing a banner “Angry mothers”: “We are vaccinated, we take our share of this solidarity, but we are against the pass for teenagers and we do not see why we vaccinate them since they are not at risk”.
“I am there against the laws which become draconian”, explained for his part Rohan, a 28-year-old social worker, in the Lille demonstration. “I do not question the fact that there is a disease, but these are health pretexts to divide people and set up segregation”, estimated Céline, 47, who marched in Toulouse.
From Paris to Nantes via Marseille
For all these demonstrators, the challenge was to do at least as well as the previous Saturday. In the wake of the declarations of Emmanuel Macron, decided to “annoy” the non-vaccinated, 105,200 demonstrators had then been counted by the Ministry of the Interior throughout France, four times more than the 25,500 of the previous mobilization on 18 December.
This Saturday, the demonstrators were 1,300 in Lyon, 1,140 in Nantes, 1,000 in Bordeaux, 950 in Rennes, 750 in Marseille, 650 in Clermont-Ferrand, according to the police or the prefectures.
Thousands of disabled passes
A few hours before these demonstrations, the deputies adopted in the night the controversial bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass at second reading. The debates resumed in the Senate, before a final vote of the National Assembly on Sunday afternoon.
The pass is present on a third front this weekend: for lack of an anti-Covid reminder, tens of thousands of health passes were to be deactivated this Saturday, deadline set in November. From now on, you must have done your booster at the latest seven months after the previous injection, otherwise the pass is deactivated. This period will even be reduced to four months on February 15. In theory, some 560,000 people were likely to lose their passes on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health.
But the real figure is difficult to determine, in particular because we cannot distinguish people who have been infected without notifying it in the TousAntiCovid application, which extends the validity of their pass. “It was urgent,” said Juan Fernandez, 32, after getting vaccinated in Paris in the morning, just before losing his pass. “When we go out, each time we need the health pass, I did it more for that”.