This Saturday (24), France, Italy and Australia recorded several protests against new health restrictions aimed at fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and curbing the delta variant. The measure most criticized by protesters is the so-called “health passport”, with compulsory vaccination for various professions in Europe.
By decision of the European Parliament, only people with a complete vaccination schedule and a recent negative test for Covid-19 will be able to obtain the certificate, which gives the right to travel between the 27 countries of the European Union, without obligation to test for quarantine or coronavirus.
Paris police estimated that around 11,000 people participated in the protest. The newspaper Le Monde reports that in addition to the opposition to the “sanitary passport” and the compulsory nature of the vaccine, the demonstrators also showed discontent, even hatred, towards President Emmanuel Macron.
Posters were seen with slogans such as “Terrorist Macron”, “We are not guinea pigs” and “Hands off our children”, also calling for the president’s resignation.
Other French cities, such as Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes and Toulouse, also had protests. In the capital, the act ended in a clash between police and protesters, after a group vandalized an officer’s motorcycle.
Surveys show, however, that the majority of French people (76%) are in favor of compulsory vaccination for health professionals and support the creation of the “health passport”. The demonstrators who took to the streets claim that the health measures are “totalitarian” and an attack on the freedom of the population.
Something similar happened in Rome, Italy, where protesters held signs saying “Down with the dictatorship”. They were protesting against the so-called green certificate, an extension of the European health pass which is due to go into effect on February 6.
“Better to die free than to live like slaves!” Read one of the banners in front of Milan’s Gothic cathedral.
Italy is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic in Europe and recorded more than 5,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday.
In Australia, protests have taken place against measures that restrict movement, such as the lockdown. Next month, a lockdown is expected to put around 5 million Australians in lockdown in a government attempt to stop the spread of the delta variant.
In Sydney, there were clashes between some protesters and the police cavalry, while in Melbourne thousands of people gathered outside the Victoria State regional parliament.