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PROTESTS

Where in France will see anti-Covid health pass protests on Saturday?

More anti-health pass demonstrations are planned in towns and cities across France on Saturday, July 31st. Here's what's happening in your town.

Where in France will see anti-Covid health pass protests on Saturday?
Protesters in Orleans on Saturday, July 24th. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP.

Last weekend, an estimated 160,000 people marched in protests against plans to extend the health pass and the compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers, first announced by President Emmanuel Macron in a televised address on July 12th. 

The health pass bill was agreed by MPs, and is now being examined by the influential Conseil Constitutionnel. It will announce its verdict on the law by August 5th. 

Ministers expect the extended rules to come into force four days after that decision, from August 9th.

Since the beginning of July, more than 7.75 million first vaccine doses have been administered, according to official figures published on Thursday, July 29th.

But the passage of the bill through Parliament prompted a wave of protests – which will continue this weekend. Some 3,000 police officers will be deployed in Paris alone, where four marches are planned for Saturday. More than 10,000 people are expected to join the four protests in the capital.

READ ALSO Health passport: What changes in France on August 9th?

The largest march is expected to start at the foot of the Tour Montparnasse, Place du 18 juin 1940, at 2.30pm, and end at Place de Fontenoy at 7pm.

Far-right Presidential candidate Florian Philippot, leader of Les Patriotes, called for the latest protest in the capital, after organising a rally at the Place du Trocadéro last weekend. He will be joined by another hard-right candidate, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, leader of Debout la France.

Another three marches are planned in the capital. The first will leave from the Place du Palais Royal at 12pm. The procession will take the direction of Place Laroque, where the demonstrators will meet until 7pm.

The second will start from Place Joachim du Bellay at 2pm and end on Place du Palais Royal at 9pm.

A fourth demonstration will begin at the Villiers metro station at 2pm, and will end at 7pm at Place de la Bastille.

There have also been calls on social networks for a march on the Champs-Elysées, leading to fears that a hard core of the so-called yellow vests may be planning to cause trouble.

READ ALSO OPINION: Anti health passport protests will continue in France, but this is not a new ‘yellow vest’ moment

Protests have also been confirmed in towns and cities across France, as this interactive map shows:

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The key marches are at:

  • Bordeaux, place de la Bourse, from 2pm

  • Lille, République – Beaux Arts, from 12pm

  • Lyon, Place Bellecour or Place Maréchal Lyautey (TBC), from 3pm

  • Marseille, Vieux Port, from 2pm

  • Metz, Place de la République, from 2pm

  • Montpellier, Place de la Comédie, from 2pm

  • Nancy, Place Maginot, from 2pm

  • Nice, Place Garibaldi, from 2pm

  • Perpignan, Place de Catalogne, from 2pm

  • Rennes, Place de la République, from 2pm

  • Reims, Town hall, from 2pm

  • Strasbourg, Place Kléber, from 1pm

  • Toulouse, Place Jean Jaurès, from 2pm

Some unauthorised marches could take place in towns and cities, similar to the one in Lyon last weekend, while others have yet to be confirmed.

Since the start of the pandemic in France, Covid-19 has affected more than 6 million people, while 112,000 people have died of the virus.

READ ALSO Can tourists use France’s health passport to access museums, cafés and trains?

Member comments

  1. Let the deadbeats protest whilst the majority agree or at least go along with it for the good of France.

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PROTESTS

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

Students blockaded five schools in Paris on Tuesday to demonstrate their political concerns ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections on Sunday.

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

In addition to the five blockaded lycées, the université Paris 8 in Saint-Denis was closed “for security reasons”.

The students – who are too young to make their voices heard at the ballot box – were protesting against the options available to voters in the second round – where incumbent Emmanuel Macron takes on far-right leader Marine Le Pen – and follows earlier student protests at the Sorbonne.

Many were demonstrating in protest at what they saw as inadequate policies on climate change and social issues from both candidates in the final round of voting, as well as the lack of choice for the electorate.

“It is a continuation of what happened at the Sorbonne,” one student told AFP. “We want a third social round, because the two candidates qualified for the second round have no social or ecological programmes. 

“We want to give a new breath to this Fifth Republic a little at the end of the race.

“We are fed up with the fascist state. We are here against Marine Le Pen, against fascism, for the climate and against capitalism,” another student at the lycée Louis-le-Grand in the capital’s fifth arrondissement said.

“We have blocked all the entrances. We will stay there as long as possible.”

About 100 students blockaded the prestigious school. Some students chant slogans against the “Front National” – the former name of second-round candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National party.

The blockades ended peacefully at the end of the day.

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