Yep France: anti-vaccine pass convoys at the gates of Paris, law enforcement mobilized
Sylvie Claire / February 12, 2022
Thousands of opponents to the vaccination pass, who came in convoys from all over France and camped at the gates of the capital, took to the road again on Saturday morning to enter Paris and demonstrate despite the ban by the police prefecture, which was determined to prevent any blockage.
Some motorists left as of 05h00, at low speed, in direction of the Parisian ring road. According to their messages consulted by the AFP, they want to become a mass of vehicles impossible to contain by the forces of order unless the latter do not block themselves the main axes of the capital. In fact, facing several thousands of vehicles capable of being stopped as in movement, a few tens of tow trucks could not do much, continues one of the messages.
Nearly 7,200 police officers and gendarmes are deployed over the next three days to enforce the prohibition of vehicle convoys, according to the police prefecture. In a tweet, shortly after midnight, it greeted with a Thank you to the police engaged all night the forces of order mobilized to prevent any motorized demonstration in the city. Gendarmerie armor was also deployed in the capital, a first since the yellow vests protests in late 2018. Prime Minister Jean Castex promised to be inflexible in the face of the movement. If they block traffic or if they try to block the capital, we must be very firm, he insisted on France 2.
A heterogeneous gathering of opponents of President Emmanuel Macron and yellow vests, the movement was formed on the model of the mobilization that paralyzes the Canadian capital Ottawa. Police had estimated Friday afternoon that there were 3,300 vehicles involved in the convoys. We are all collectively tired by what we have been living for two years. This fatigue is expressed in several ways: by disarray in some, depression in others. We see a very strong mental suffering, among our young and not so young people. And sometimes, this fatigue is also expressed by anger. I hear it and respect it, President Macron said in an interview with the daily Ouest-France. But, he added, I call for the greatest calm.
The ban on the convoy's gathering was upheld Friday evening by the Paris administrative court, which rejected two appeals. With two months to go before the presidential election, the demonstrators are demanding the withdrawal of the vaccination pass and are defending claims on purchasing power and the cost of energy. The government says it plans to lift the vaccination pass by the end of March or the beginning of April and intends to abolish the compulsory wearing of masks in places where the pass is required as of February 28. Some participants are planning to join Brussels for a European convergence scheduled for Monday, February 14.The Belgian authorities have banned access to the capital.