204,000 demonstrators in France, more than 12,000 in Brittany: the mobilization against the health pass goes up a notch – France

Protests in more than 150 cities gathered more than 200,000 people on Saturday, according to figures from the Interior Ministry, for the third consecutive weekend. During this summer crossover weekend, the authorities expected to see 150,000 people marching. Last Saturday, the demonstrations had gathered 161,000 people and 110,000 a week earlier.

In Brittany, the processions swelled with new demonstrators compared to last week: at least 12,000 people took part in rallies in several towns. This is more than last week, which had gathered just over 10,000 demonstrators.

More than 12,000 demonstrators in Brittany

Gatherings took place in many towns in Brittany. Rennes hosted the largest procession this weekend, with a little less than 3,000 people, an increase in mobilization compared to the previous Saturday (2,200 people counted). “I am Macron’s Jew”, “vaccinate me against fascism and capitalism” or “Media liars!” We want the truth ”, we read on the signs, brandished in a festive and noisy atmosphere.

In Brest and Vannes, more than 2,000 people marched against the sanitary pass this Saturday afternoon. “We are not here to wage war. We are here to denounce the attack on our freedoms, ”chanted a demonstrator.

1,800 people also demonstrated in Quimper, and 1,400 in Saint-Brieuc with cries of “Liberty, freedom! “Or” Macron resignation! », And a little more than 1000 in Lorient, much more than the previous week. They were also 400 in Morlaix, 300 in Lannion, 40 in Carhaix, or even 20 in Lamballe. In Nantes, the demonstrations gathered “a little less than 4,000 people”, estimated the prefecture of Loire Atlantique, in a “very tense” atmosphere, according to an AFP photographer.

Some clashes in the Parisian processions

In Paris, more than 14,000 people marched. A first demonstration of several thousand people started from the Villiers metro in the 17th century at 2 p.m. in the direction of the Place de la Bastille, punctuated by clashes with the police seeking to contain the procession on the authorized route.

Before the demonstrators set off, the “yellow vest” Jérôme Rodrigues had castigated “members of the government, members of the media who are there to sell you the effectiveness of a vaccine without even having any proof”.

Parisian demonstrators not far from the Eiffel Tower. (AFP)

Around 4 pm, the tension rose near the Place de la République, where the police responded with tear gas to the jets of projectiles or firecrackers from demonstrators, shouting “no to dictatorship” or singing the Marseillaise. An AFP journalist attended the first two arrests. According to a first report communicated by the Interior, “19 arrests took place, including 10 in Paris”. “3 members of the security forces were injured in Paris”.

A second demonstration started after 2:30 p.m. near the Montparnasse station, at the call of the former n ° 2 of the FN and president of the Patriots Florian Philippot. Wearing many “blue white red” flags or a torn European flag, the demonstrators, mostly without masks, arrived in front of the Ministry of Health.

At the start of this procession, two AFP image reporter (JRI) journalists were the target of spitting and cursing, leading to the interruption of the video coverage of the rally, ten days after similar threats against journalists from BFMTV. The president of the pro-Frexit UPR party (Republican Popular Union) François Asselineau for his part announced Friday to be positive for covid-19, and therefore prevented from demonstrating. More than 3,000 police and gendarmes are mobilized to supervise the demonstrators, a week after demonstrators invaded the Champs-Élysées, access to which was blocked on Saturday.

French nationalist party
Florian Philippot and his supporters were at the origin of a second procession in the capital. (AFP)

In the cities of the South-East, more than 20,000 people were counted by the authorities in the middle of the afternoon, mainly in Montpellier (8,500) and Nice (6,500). In Marseille, a very heterogeneous crowd gathered, brandishing the Communist flag, that of rebellious France (LFI) or the tricolor with cross of Lorraine.

Third week of mobilization against the “ PassDeLaHonte

In Lille, more than 2000 people, with such varied profiles, including a number of “yellow vests”, marched through the center, chanting “liberty, liberty” or “the sanitary pass, we don’t want it, the authoritarian pass, we don’t want it ”. In Strasbourg, 3,200 people, according to the police, marched in the city center, without excesses and in the presence of the former LREM deputy Martine Wonner. In Lyon, more than 1,200 people marched in two processions, according to the prefecture. In Bordeaux, there were 5,500. Grouped around the hashtags # manif31juillet and PassDeLaHonte on social networks, the opposition to government measures federates anti-health, anti-vaccine or anti-containment protesters, with protean demands.

The health pass was adopted definitively on Sunday in Parliament. Already applied in cultural and leisure venues since July 21, its extension to cafes, fairs, exhibitions, restaurants and trains is scheduled for August 9. In the meantime, the Constitutional Council will render its decision on the law on August 5.

People hold placards reading in French
The demonstrations saw the proliferation of placards denouncing the attacks on freedom induced by the extension of the health pass. (AFP)

Degradation of the health situation in France

New containments are put in place this weekend in Martinique and Reunion, where vaccination coverage is low and the incidence rate is rising sharply. In Reunion, two processions gathered thousands of demonstrators on Saturday, including one marked by exchanges of stones and tear gas in Saint-Denis.

In mainland France, the epidemic is on the rise, particularly in tourist departments and health measures have been introduced at the departmental level. People not vaccinated against covid-19 represent about 85% of patients hospitalized in France, including in intensive care, and 78% of deaths from the virus, according to a study published on Friday.

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