- Mass protests all over France took place on Bastille Day.
- Violent clashes erupted between protestors and police in Paris.
- Police fired tear gas at demonstrators who threw rocks and bottles, set construction equipment on fire in Paris, and picketed state buildings.
Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets of Paris to demonstrate against French government’s decision to make coronavirus vaccination mandatory for health workers and to introduce a health pass to access bars, restaurants, theaters and other public venues.
Mass protests all over the country took place on Bastille Day, the anniversary of the 1789 storming of the notorious Paris dungeon that kicked off the French revolution. In Paris, police fired tear gas to suppress the demonstrators.
Protests took place across France on Wednesday with heated clashes erupting with police in Paris. Police fired tear gas at demonstrators who threw rocks and bottles, set construction equipment on fire in Paris, and picketed state buildings across France, in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-COVID-19 moves.
Photos and videos from French capital city showed protesters erecting barricades from materials found at a construction site. Some building machinery left unattended was apparently set on fire as well.
In Paris, eyewitness footage captured people fleeing from tear gas as police were deployed in sizable numbers to break up the demonstrations. Major city arteries could be seen blocked by protesters and police. In one instance, a canister of tear gas landed near a restaurant terrace, causing diners to scarper inside.
Social media posts about the protests included the hashtags #PassSanitaire and #VaccinObligatoire, referring to Monday’s announcement by Macron that healthcare workers will have to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 15, or face losing their jobs.
Smaller protests took place elsewhere in the city, with some groups convening at Place de Clichy.
French outrage wasn’t limited to Paris, either. Videos from around the country show protests in Toulouse and Marseilles in the south, Haute-Savoie in the southeast, and Nantes in the west, among other places.
Demonstrations were also held in Corsica, where people gathered to denounce what they decried as an attack on individual freedoms, demanding the right to “own their choice” over COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to online reports, more than 1,000 people marched in the southern French city of Perpignan.