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Demonstrators Clash With Police in Paris as French Protest Against COVID-19 Passes - Videos

© SputnikDemonstrators Clash With Police as French Protest Against COVID-19 Passes
Demonstrators Clash With Police as French Protest Against COVID-19 Passes - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.07.2021
Earlier this month, the French president announced a series of new restrictions, most notably an introduction of a special "health pass" required for visiting public places.
The demonstrations against a bill requiring the French people to have a special COVID-19 pass to enter public venues - including restaurants and theatres - gripped the country on Saturday, with protests in Paris descending into skirmishes with police. 
The Paris authorities have given a green light to separate demonstrations, including a march that started at Bastille Plaza and proceeded through eastern Paris and a gathering that spanned across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower. The latter was initiated by Florian Philippot, the founder of the Patriots party and a former National Rally member.

The demonstrators were marching with French flags and placards reading "Freedom", a Sputnik correspondent reported from the French capital. While the protests remained largely peaceful, tensions erupted on the margins of the Bastille rally, with a demonstrator throwing a chair at a police officer. The riot police responded with tear gas.

The protests have also hit Marseille, France's second largest city, national media reported, saying that the demonstrators were singing the national anthem and chanting "Freedom."
​The demonstrations were also reported in other cities, including Nice, Dunkirk, Perpignan and Narbonne, as well as Reunion, an overseas French territory.
​The rallies hit the nation as the French senators were discussing the controversial bill on Saturday, a day after the lower house of parliament approved it to stem the rising number of new coronavirus cases.

Divisive Legislation

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a series of new restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. 
From Wednesday, 21 July, people visiting museums, theatres, cinemas, festivals, concerts, and amusement parks are required to have a health pass confirming that its holder has either been vaccinated or is COVID-negative. Additionally, the French president has introduced mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers.
Starting August, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, airplanes and long-distance trains will also require passes.
The new restrictions triggered a wave of protests that swept across France last weekend. Another rally is scheduled for Sunday.
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