More than 100,000 march in France against COVID-19 vaccine requirements

More than 100,000 people across France protested on Saturday against what they say are government plans to restrict the rights of the unvaccinated, days after French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to “outrage” those who refuse to jab.

The turnout was four times higher than the numbers that responded to the December 18 call for protest, when 25,500 people demonstrated across the country, according to government estimates.

The protests are opposed to a planned law requiring individuals to prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus before they can eat out, travel on intercity trains, or attend cultural events.

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On Thursday, the French House of Representatives approved the controversial bill in a first reading. The government said it expects to implement the new requirements by January 15, although senators may now delay the process.

Interior Ministry officials said 105,200 people took part in Saturday’s protests across France, 18,000 of them in the capital, Paris, where police reported 10 arrests and three officers were slightly injured.

Elsewhere, 24 people were arrested and seven police officers were slightly injured, according to the ministry.

Among the larger demonstrations, about 6,000 protesters turned out in Toulon, while police in Montpellier used tear gas during clashes with protesters.

France recorded 303,669 new cases of the Corona virus today, Saturday, amid mounting pressure on hospitals.

Demonstrators in Paris, many of them unmasked, braved the cold and rain with signs that read “Truth” and “No Vaccines”.

Others targeted Macron, using the same blunt language he used in his attack on people who refused vaccinations earlier in the week.

Macron said Friday that he fully stood by the controversial comments he made on Tuesday, when he vowed to “outrage” people who haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 until they accept the injection.

The earthy language and hard-line approach caused an uproar in the French media and from opponents.

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Read more:

French parliament approves preliminary approval for passage of COVID-19 vaccine after unrest

Loud protests in France as Macron targets vulnerable with explosive language

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