141,000 march against health pass in France on eighth protest weekend
Official figures recorded a drop in numbers, with most marches remaining peaceful
There were 215 official marches across France this weekend, with many attendees calling for ‘freedom’ Pic: Norbu Gyanchung / Shutterstock
More than 141,000 people marched against the health pass this weekend, another drop in numbers on the eighth consecutive Saturday of protests.
There were 215 marches across France, of which five were in Paris, attracting 18,000 people in the capital, according to the Interior Ministry.
The total number of people – 141,655 – is a drop on last weekend, when almost 160,000 people came out nationwide.
As usual, protesters were varied. Many placards denounced an ‘attack on freedom’ and called the health pass ‘veiled mandatory vaccination’.
FRANCE: Paris today - people are shouting: “hands off the children!” - “touchez pas aux enfants!” - parents intent on protecting their children #manifestation4septembre #NonAuPassDeLaHonte— Nat (@Arwenstar) September 4, 2021
Attendees appeared to include anti-vaxxers, people who are vaccinated but calling for personal choice, former gilets jaunes, and people from both ends of the political spectrum.
Leader of far-right Les Patriotes party, Florian Phillipot, once again called for a march. He said: “We are boycotting this health pass. This pass will fall. We will go for a general strike if needed.”
A total of 21 people were arrested, including three in Paris. They were taken into police custody in the evening in connection with “alleged “violence and/or outrage on a person with public authority”.
8ème samedi de mobilisation #AntiPassSanitaire. À Paris, face à l’intrusion des manifestants dans le centre commercial des Halles, la police a demandé aux magasins de fermer leurs portes #manifestation4septembre #Manifs4septembre pic.twitter.com/KrJbZjEDd9— Margaux d'Adhémar (@m_dadhemar) September 4, 2021
One group separated from an official march in Paris and entered the Halles commercial centre, prompting riot police on motorbikes to arrive and intervene. There was no reported damage to the centre, but shops closed for a time.
Protesters have already said they will hold more marches next weekend.