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France sees 6th weekend of protests against 'health pass'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This image shows a banner held at a protest rally against the compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for certain workers and the compulsory use of the "health pass" system imposed by the French government in Paris on August 21, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in France for the sixth consecutive weekend to protest against the government's mandatory measures against COVID-19. 

Protesters on Saturday denounced the "health pass" system announced by President Emmanuel Macron, demanding “liberty.”

Some protesters wore yellow stars in order to compare the “health pass” to the “Jewish badges” the Jews were notoriously forced to wear by the Nazis during World War II.   

Believing that the “health pass” unfairly restricts the rights of the unvaccinated, around 175,000 protesters nationwide chanted "Macron! We don't want your pass!" 

The Ministry of the Interior put the number of people who turned out in Paris at around 14,700.

Around 200,000 protesters took part in demos on previous weekends.

Organizers of the protests claim the real number of protesters was double the figures estimated by the authorities.

Under the new "health pass" system, introduced gradually since mid-July, anyone wanting to go to public places such as large shopping centers, restaurants or movie theaters, or ride on a long-distance train must submit their vaccination card or documents showing they have recently tested negative for the virus. 

Authorities say the “health pass” system has been effective in forcing people to sign up for vaccinations, with millions of people booking appointments in the days after it was officially announced on July 12.

Around 47 million people, about 70 percent of the population, have received at least one dose in France.

The country is ahead in vaccinations in comparison to Germany and Italy, while being slightly behind Britain.

Despite the successful vaccination campaign, around 22,000 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, according to official data.


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