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Almost 160,000 march against health pass in France in seventh weekend

Numbers dropped for the third consecutive Saturday, prompting the health minister to say that ‘objections’ to the health pass were falling

French flag with the words “Freedom, stop health pass” written on it.. Irinacapel / Almost 160,000 march against health pass in France in seventh weekend

The protests were the seventh weekend of action, but the third consecutive weekend when protester numbers dropped Pic: Irinacapel / Shutterstock

Almost 159,500 people protested against the health pass this weekend, in the seventh consecutive Saturday of action, with 222 marches counted in total.

Saturday, August 28 marked the third consecutive drop in the number of protesters, according to figures from the Interior Ministry, down from 237,000 on August 7, and 175,500 on August 21. 

There were 14,500 counted in Paris. The largest outside of the capital were counted in Montpellier (9,500), and in Mulhouse (5,500).

The protests were widely peaceful, with ministry figures showing that 16 people were arrested nationwide, of which two were in Paris. Three law enforcement officers were injured.

Tear gas was used against protesters, including in Nice.


Disputed numbers

The protest group and organisers, dubbed Le Nombre jaune, an offshoot of the gilets jaunes movement, said it had counted protesters by city, and counted at least 319,000 protesters across the country.

This is a lower count from the week before, when the group reported 357,000 people on Saturday, August 21.

Florian Philippot, leader of the Les Patriotes movement, who had organised one protest in Paris, said he was aiming to organise “a large, unique and national event on September 4”.

But Health Minister Olivier Véran this week said that the “last objections were falling faced with the success of the health pass”. He said that use of the pass could be extended beyond the current date of November 15, or until “Covid disappears from our lives”.

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