Friday, December 3

The French take to the streets again to protest the Covid certificate


Correspondent in Paris

Updated:

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National protests against his health policy have become a nightmare for Emmanuel Macron. In Paris and several provincial capitals, between 150,000 and 165,000 protesters shouting “Freedom, freedom ..!” have confirmed in the afternoon / night of this Saturday the aggravation of a crisis that has flammable political and social fringes. In Paris, three different courtships ended with relatively conspicuous tensions.

One of the Parisian demonstrations ended with clashes of some seriousness, around the Place de la Bastille. Riot control they had to use tear gas and water cannons to quell the street protest. The protesters tried to “take refuge” on the steps of the Opera Bastille.

Another Parisian courtship culminated with tensions and tear gas in the Republic Square. At the other end of Paris, in Montparnasse, a far-right leader led the protesters, denouncing the “dictatorship” of the Macron government.

In the heart of the Côte d’Azur, in Nice, in French Catalonia (Montpellier), in Strasbourg, in Rennes, in Toulouse, in Marseille, in Lille, among other cities, the demonstrations of thousands of protesters were globally peaceful, with recurring tensions that reveal a kind of barely contained social anguish.

The protesters protest against the health policy of the government of Emmanuel Macron, described as “liberticide”. The mandatory nature of the strictest sanitary controls and the requirement of Covid controls to enter cinemas, bars and restaurants, as of September, are the most conflictive points. But they are only the visible and flammable part of the crisis.

There is no organization that centralizes and organizes the protests. And that relatively spontaneous character is perceived with concern for state security services, who fear a generalized worsening of the crisis, bound to continue indefinitely.

A large majority of French support health policy of the French government. And the mandatory requirement for the Covid certificate is approved by the majority of the public.

But, twenty hours after its installation in Fort Brégançon, the summer residence of the French heads of state, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, opposite the small village of Bormes-les-Mimosas (7,800 inhabitants), Macron received a confidential note from the Ministry of the Interior, with very bad news: “The street protests against the restrictions to stop the advance of the coronaviruses run the risk of growing, becoming a national movement similar to that of the ‘yellow vests'”. The demonstrations on Saturday confirm the unforeseeable worsening of the crisis.

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