What to expect in France this weekend as more anti-health pass protests planned

Opponents of the French health pass are planning another round of marches in towns and cities across France on Saturday, a week after 205,000 people took to the streets. The health passport will be required for many aspects of daily life from Monday.

What to expect in France this weekend as more anti-health pass protests planned
Photo: Philippe Lopez / AFP.

The latest round of protests comes after the powerful Conseil Constitutionnel gave the government’s new health law the green light, paving the way for the extended rules to be enforced from Monday, August 9th.

READ ALSO How you’ll need to use your French health pass from Monday

The Conseil’s announcement was greeted with anger by a few hundred demonstrators outside the venerable institution on Thursday, while some 150 or so marches are planned across France on Saturday, highlighted on the map below:

In Paris, where about 14,500 marched last weekend, four marches are planned on the final Saturday before health pass rules are extended.

The first protest is set to start at Pont de Neuilly at 10.30am, before heading towards Avenue Victoria, near Place du Châtelet, two hours later. A second will start at 1pm at Place du Palais-Royal and head to Place Pierre-Laroque, while another will leave Place Edmond Rostand at 2.30pm and head to Place du Palais-Royal.

What is expected to be the largest gathering of the day, called by hard-right politician Florian Philippot, will start at 2.30pm at Place Joffre in front of the École militaire and head to Place Vauban.

“Several thousand” protesters are expected in the capital, according to Le Parisien.

Protests in other towns and cities include: 

  • Aix-En-Provence – 10am Place du Général de Gaulle

  • Bayonne – 2pm Place de la liberté

  • Bordeaux – 1.30pm Place de la bourse

  • Clermont-Ferrand – 2pm Place de Jaude

  • Dijon – 2pm Place de la République

  • Grenoble – 2.30pm Place de Verdun

  • Lyon – 2pm place Maréchal Lyautey

  • Montpellier – 2pm Place de la Comédie

  • Nancy – 2pm Place Maginot

  • Nice – 2pm Place Garibaldi

  • Orléans – 2pm Place de la République

  • Rouen – 2pm Hotel de ville

  • Toulouse – 2pm Métro Jean-Jaurès

Since the start of the pandemic in France, Covid-19 has affected more than 6.2 million people, while more than 112,100 people have died of the virus – equivalent to the population of Saint-Denis in 2018.

READ ALSO IN PICTURES: Over 200,000 people protest against health pass in France

According to official figures published on Thursday, August 5th, more than 2.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in France since the beginning of the month – and more than 1.6 million of those were first doses.

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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.