‘Our freedoms are dying’

Thousands of people walked in Paris and elsewhere French Saturday City for the fourth consecutive week of anti-protests COVID-19 All health passes in the country will soon have to enter cafes, trains and other places.

The demonstrations came two days after the French Constitutional Council approved most of the provisions of a new law that expands places that require health permits to enter.

From Monday, the card will be required in France for access to bars, restaurants, long-distance travel, and, in some cases, hospitals. It was already present in cultural and entertainment venues, including cinemas, concert halls, sports arenas, and amusement parks with a capacity of more than 50 people.

Anti-vaccination protesters confront police during a protest against passports and vaccines, in Paris, France, Saturday, August 7, 2021.
(AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)

Clashes between French police and anti-virus protesters in Paris

As French riot police waited, a largely peaceful crowd marched through Paris carrying signs that read “Our freedoms are dying” and “Vaccine: Don’t touch our children.” Some were also concerned that the government had made COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for healthcare workers by September 15.

Dozens of street protests also broke out in other French cities, including Marseille, Nice and Lille. The French Interior Ministry said there were 237,000 demonstrators nationwide, including 17,000 in Paris.

Anti-vaccination protesters confront police during a protest against passports and vaccines, in Paris, France, Saturday, August 7, 2021.

Anti-vaccination protesters confront police during a protest against passports and vaccines, in Paris, France, Saturday, August 7, 2021.
(AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)

Opponents say transmission of the virus restricts their movement and makes implicit vaccinations mandatory.

However, polls show that most people in France support health permits, which show people have been vaccinated, recently tested negative or recovered from COVID-19.

French protesters reject the bill that would allow the passage of vaccines

Morell, 55, a Parisian who declined to give her last name, told The Associated Press that she is protesting specifically against “compulsory disguised vaccination … an incredible blow to our fundamental freedoms.”

A separate protest organized by far-right politician Florian Philippot gathered thousands of people near the Ministry of Health in central Paris. Many raised the French flag and called on French President Emmanuel Macron to step down.

Anti-vaccination protesters gather during a demonstration in Paris, France on Saturday, August 7, 2021.

Anti-vaccination protesters gather during a demonstration in Paris, France on Saturday, August 7, 2021.
(AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)

“Here, you don’t have COVID, but you have rage!” And Philippot told the crowd, calling for a boycott of places requiring traffic.

On Reunion Island, a French region in the Indian Ocean that has been partially blocked due to a wave of infections, thousands of people have come out to protest the transmission of the virus.

Demonstrators chant slogans during a demonstration in Marseille, southern France, on Saturday, August 7, 2021.

Demonstrators chant slogans during a demonstration in Marseille, southern France, on Saturday, August 7, 2021.
(Associated Press/Daniel Cole)

Reopening of the Eiffel Tower. COVID permits are mandatory from next week

France records more than 21,000 new confirmed cases of the virus every day, a sharp increase from last month. More than 112,000 people have died from the virus in France since the beginning of the epidemic.

More than 36 million people in France – about 54% of the population – have been fully vaccinated. At least 7 million people have received their first vaccine since Macron announced the requirement for a health permit on July 12.

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An increasing number of European countries have implemented virus permits, each with different rules.

Italy’s “Green Corridor” went into effect on Friday. Denmark was a pioneer in passing on a low-resistance vaccine. In Austria, entry to restaurants, theaters, hotels, sports facilities and hairdressers is required. In Germany, protests against the virus in Berlin last weekend led to some violent clashes with police.

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