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In France, sixth Saturday of mobilization of opponents of the health pass

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In total, more than 200 demonstrations are planned for Saturday in France against the health pass and any anti-Covid vaccine obligation. In Paris, a rally called by Florian Philippot is dedicated to the defense of infectious disease specialist Didier Raoult.

As the start of the school year approaches, opponents of the health pass and any vaccine obligation against Covid-19 intend to increase the pressure on the government for their sixth weekend of mobilization, with more than 200 events scheduled for Saturday, August 21, in France.

According to estimates from a police source, between “170,000 and 220,000” people should demonstrate, with large processions anticipated in “Toulon, Nice, Marseille, Montpellier or Perpignan”.

In the center of the small town of Pau (77,000 inhabitants), at least 2,700 people according to the police demonstrated in the morning, including one of the emblematic figures of the yellow vests movement, Jérôme Rodrigues, who publicly declared: “Vaccinate- you if you want, but we are against a pass to the hospital or to go shopping, we are asking for the repeal of the law. “

The health pass has been extended since Monday to more than 120 large shopping centers and stores in the Paris region and the southern half of France. This may be proof of full vaccination, antigen testing within 72 hours, or proof of illness within the past six months.

In Paris, between 12,000 and 20,000 demonstrators are expected in four processions, according to a police source. Two are at the initiative of collectives of yellow vests and another at the call of Florian Philippot, former number 2 of the National Front, leader of the “Patriots”.

Place du Châtelet, a few hundred demonstrators dressed in white had responded to the call of the former yellow vest Sophie Tissier. “The government will soon be able to find out if we have been peeing at the cinema, or if we have been shopping,” she said, fearing that we are going “towards a permanent control of citizens”.

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Opponents of the health pass are also standing up against the possible extension of vaccination to children under 12 years old. This measure is “not topical” in France, assured Thursday the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. 12-17 year olds can be vaccinated since mid-June and 55% of them have already received a dose.

Monique Bourhis, 75 years old and “not vaccinated”, came by train from Eure to demonstrate as “every Saturday”, with the badge “do not touch our children”: “I do not have to show a document to go coffee. I’m not against the vaccine but I’m waiting for French. There, we’ll know what’s inside, “said this retiree, sensitive to Florian Philippot’s speech and defiant towards messenger RNA vaccines, that it equates to “poison”.

“The vaccination obligation would be legitimate in the face of the plague but we do not have carts of corpses in the street”, also told AFP a 45-year-old executive, Cédric, who came from Normandy to demonstrate in Paris at the call from Florian Philippot.

>> To read also: “Covid-19: when vaccination turns into family conflict”

Friday evening, nearly 2,100 patients with the virus were still hospitalized in critical care in France, the situations being very contrasted from one region to another. The CHU of Guadeloupe beats the recall of all its staff and according to a press release from the prefect of the region, “60 additional deaths are to be deplored” since Monday.

In French Polynesia, schools, colleges and high schools will close on Monday, because “the spread of the Delta virus within schools (…) requires a strong reaction”, according to the president of the archipelago, Édouard Fritch.

Friday, the Prime Minister, traveling to the Etampes hospital in Essonne, had stressed that none of the five patients admitted to intensive care was vaccinated, seeing “proof by example”. “It is always the same profile: (sick) younger and unvaccinated”, insisted Jean Castex.

A gathering “dedicated” to Professor Raoult

In Paris, Florian Philippot “dedicated” the demonstration to his appeal to Professor Didier Raoult – promoter of a very controversial treatment for Covid-19 patients – while the slogan “Touche pas à Raoult” appeared among the French flags.

“They shamefully want to oust him!”, He said at the microphone, alluding to the statements of the Director-General of Public Assistance-Hospitals of Marseille who does not wish to renew the 69-year-old infectious disease specialist at the head of the IHU Mediterranean Infection.

The movement, which began in mid-July and brings together beyond the vaccine-skeptical or conspiratorial galaxy, is marked by strong decentralization.

Last Saturday, the Interior Ministry had identified 214,845 demonstrators, a figure down slightly from the previous week. The militant collective The Yellow Number, publishing a city-by-city count, had counted 388,843 participants, also down slightly from the 415,000 it had counted the previous Saturday.

With AFP

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