French protesters against the health restrictions applied during the Covid pandemic-19 blocked part of the traffic on Avenue Champs Élysées, in central Paris, this Saturday (14). The protest, called the “Freedom Train” by the organizers, was the first major demonstration held in European territory, similar to the protests led by truck drivers in Canada, against the mandatory vaccination and vaccination passport.
There was confrontation between protesters and local security forces, who used tear gas to try to disperse the protests. In the early evening, according to information from The Washington Post, French authorities regained control of the situation after several cars were towed away.
Protesters gained access to central Paris against a blockade order. issued by the French government, which deployed more than 7,000 police officers to try to stop the protests. In addition to a fine estimated at more than R$ 26 thousand, the punishments for the protesters include imprisonment of up to two years and the suspension of the driver’s license.
Similar protests were held. organized in other cities in Europe. In the Netherlands, protesters partially disrupted traffic on the outskirts of the government headquarters in The Hague. Belgian police are organizing for the protest scheduled for next Monday (14) in Brussels.
In mid-2021 the The French government imposed the so-called “health passport”, and forced the French to present proof of vaccination or negative test for Covid-19 in order to have access to a number of places, such as museums, public transport and restaurants. The measure was taken, according to President Emmanuel Macron, to avoid a possible new lockdown.
The measures, however, have intensified in recent months. Negative tests for the disease were removed from the list of possibilities in the French health passport. The measure was seen as a way to prevent the unvaccinated from accessing these places. Macron himself, in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien, made it clear that the government’s strategy was to “annoy” those who had not yet had the doses of vaccines. “I don’t want to piss off the French. But as for the unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off. And we’re going to keep doing that, until the end. That’s the strategy.”