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Some 121,000 demonstrators took to the streets of several cities in France for the ninth Saturday of mobilization against the health pass. Among them were caregivers opposed to compulsory vaccination for health workers, which goes into effect on September 15.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched, Saturday September 11, for the ninth consecutive week, in many cities of France to denounce the health pass, on the eve of the entry into force of the vaccination obligation for health professions .
According to a count of the Ministry of the Interior at 6 pm, the demonstrations gathered on Saturday 121,000 people across the country, about 20,000 less than the previous Saturday. The Interior Ministry has identified 207 rallies or processions in total across the country.
In Lille, Clermont-Ferrand or Paris, nursing assistants, nurses or physiotherapists have joined the ranks of processions to denounce this measure which will be imposed on them from next Wednesday, under penalty of being suspended.
“We are up against the wall. On September 15, colleagues and I will be suspended without pay. The health system did not need that”, despairs Corinne, nursing assistant for 30 years, from Franche-Comté to demonstrate in Paris.
Sign crossed out with a “pass to the trap” in the parade of Bordeaux, her colleague Maria, 50 years old, denounces “a diktat” of the authorities. “We are threatened to stop our wages if we are not vaccinated”, she enraged, “it is a total injustice”. “I will find myself without pay, with three children,” adds Amel Benothman, a 41-year-old nurse from the Lille metropolitan area. “This vaccine worries me too much, I would like my choice to be respected (…) we will hold on as long as we can”.
Demonstrators dissatisfied with the management of the crisis
After three weekends of decline, the authorities themselves predicted a surge in mobilization, a motley coalition of anti-ax, close to “yellow vests”, far-right activists or, more generally, political opponents. of the government.
About 170,000 protesters were expected across France, including 30,000 in Paris, a police source told AFP. The Interior Ministry had counted 140,000 demonstrators last Saturday and 165,000 the previous week.
This Saturday, according to the prefectures, they were 1,200 in Strasbourg, 1,700 in Rennes and Vannes, more than 2,000 in Lyon, 3,000 in Montpellier or Nice, 2,500 in Toulon and almost as many in Bordeaux.
In Paris, the demonstration of the “Patriots” led by Florian Philippot, at the forefront of the fight against the pass, brought together a few thousand people at the Trocadéro, noted an AFP journalist.
>> To read also: Florian Philippot and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, arsonists of the antivax movement
On stage, the ex-number 2 of Marine Le Pen paraded to the rostrum hooded firefighters of the collective “Free firefighters”, teachers, caregivers and lawyers qualifying the vaccine and the health pass of “barbarism”, factor of “segregation” or “apartheid”.
In many processions, the demonstrators welcomed the indictment for “endangering the life of others” of the former Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn, as part of the investigation opened by the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) on government management of the Covid-19 epidemic.
“Agnès Buzyn is just a puppet. She obeys orders,” commented Rachel, a music therapist who was demonstrating in Rennes. “I hope that all political personnel who have accepted the manipulation of a worldwide pseudo-scientifism stand trial,” she continued.
Tensions in Paris between police and demonstrators
“There is not one who managed the crisis well and it continued with Véran”, added Pascale Guyot, nursing assistant in Clermont-Ferrand and FO union representative. “If there is this indictment, it is also that there are a certain number of things which were hidden, which did not say”, noted in Strasbourg Hervé Gourvitch.
Incidents punctuated the gatherings, especially in Paris and Toulouse where the police had been deployed in large numbers. On Saturday, three members of the security forces were slightly injured, according to the Interior Ministry, which counted at 6 p.m. (4 p.m. GMT) 76 arrests in France, including 70 in Paris.
The symbolic threshold of 50 million people who received a first dose of vaccine, planned by the government for the end of August and then the beginning of September, has still not been reached. Mandatory since July 21 in places hosting more than 50 people, the health pass has been extended to access to hospitals, except emergencies, bars, large shopping centers and 1.8 million employees in contact with the public.