Health

Anti-vax protesters tell France’s Macron: ‘We’ll piss you off’

Macron said
this week he wanted to irritate unvaccinated people by making their lives so
complicated they would end up getting jabbed. Unvaccinated people were
irresponsible and unworthy of being considered citizens, he added.

In Paris,
protesters retorted by adopting his slangy wording, chanting “We’ll piss
you off”.

Others
carried signs saying “No to the vaccine pass”, a reference to
Macron’s legislative push to require proof of vaccination to enter venues such
as cafes, bars and museums.

TV images
showed skirmishes between protesters and police at one site. Protesters also
rallied through the streets in Marseille, Nantes and Le Mans among other
cities.

“(Macron’s
remarks) were the last straw. We are not irresponsible,” said hospital
administrator Virginie Houget, who has avoided a mandatory vaccine order for
health workers because she caught COVID-19 late last year.

The
protesters accuse Macron of trampling on their freedoms and treating citizens
unequally. He says freedoms carry responsibilities that include protecting the
health of others.

France
recorded more than 300,000 new coronavirus infections for the second time in a
week on Friday. Hospitalisations, including COVID-19 patients in intensive care
(ICU), are rising steadily, putting the healthcare system under strain.

Some hospitals
have reported that some 85 percent of ICU patients are not vaccinated against
COVID-19. Data shows that 90 percent of over-12s eligible for the COVID shot
are fully vaccinated.

People in
France already have to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test to
enter restaurants and bars and use inter-regional trains. But with Omicron
infections surging, the government wants to drop the test option.

See also  Afghan women losing jobs fast as economy shrinks and rights curtailed

Three months
before a presidential election, Macron’s blunt language appeared to be calculated,
tapping into a mounting frustration against the unvaccinated.

Conservative
challenger Valerie Pecresse said Macron was driving a wedge through the
country. Far-right candidate Eric Zemmour denounced what he called the
president’s puerile remarks.

On the
capital’s streets, protesters accused Macron of politicising the pandemic ahead
of the election.

“I want
him to piss off drug dealers and criminals, not the average person,” said
one 55-year-old protester who requested anonymity because he runs a business.

Related Articles

Back to top button