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French police clash with anti-virus pass protesters in Paris

admin | July 31, 2021

Thousands of people protested against France’s special virus pass by marching through Paris and other French cities on Saturday.

Most demonstrations were peaceful but some in Paris clashed with riot police, who fired tear gas.

Some 3,000 security forces deployed around the French capital for a third weekend of protests against the pass that will be needed soon to enter restaurants and other places.

Police took up posts along Paris’ Champs-Elysees.

With virus infections spiking and hospital admissions rising, French legislators have passed a bill requiring the pass in most places as of August 9.

Two protesters hold the French flag with a message that reads “no to the pass” during a demonstration in Paris (Adrienne Surprenant/AP)

Polls show a majority of French support the pass, but some are adamantly opposed.

The pass requires a vaccination or a quick negative test or proof of a recent recovery from Covid-19 and mandates vaccine shots for all health care workers by mid-September.

For anti-pass demonstrators, “liberty” was the slogan of the day.

Hager Ameur, a 37-year-old nurse, said she resigned from her job, accusing the government of using a form of “blackmail”.

“I think that we mustn’t be told what to do,” she told The Associated Press.

Demonstrators gathered in several cities in France on Saturday to protest against the Covid-19 pass (Adrienne Surprenant/AP)

Tensions flared in front of the famed Moulin Rouge nightclub in northern Paris during what appeared to be the largest demonstration.

Lines of police faced down protesters in up-close confrontations during the march.

As marchers headed eastward and some pelted police with objects, police fired tear gas into the crowds, plumes of smoke filling the sky.

A male protester was seen with a bleeding head and a police officer was carried away by colleagues.

Three officers were injured, the French press quoted police as saying.

Police, again responding to rowdy crowds, also turned a water cannon on protesters as the march ended at the Bastille.

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