by John Lichfield
Tuesday, 20
July 2021

France’s anti-vax movement turns nasty

Vaccination centres have been burnt to the ground
by John Lichfield
A woman holds a yellow star reading ‘non vaccinated’. July 17th 2021 (Photo by Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In the name of freedom, French anti-vaccine militants have attacked two vaccination centres in recent days, burning one to the ground.

In the name of freedom, more than 100,000 people demonstrated in 130 towns last Saturday.

In the name of freedom, some of the demonstrators wore yellow stars of David or carried banners in which President Emmanuel Macron was depicted with a Hitler moustache. The suggestion that vaccination, forced or otherwise, can be compared to the Holocaust has  caused widespread consternation in France — and not just amongst French Jews.

The protests last weekend included an extraordinary coalition of the usual suspects of French street politics from the far-Left to the far-Right and from the stubborn rump of the Gilets Jaunes anti-Macron movement of 2018-9.

Other demonstrators — many others — self-identified themselves as being non-political people: restaurant owners, nurses, care-workers all infuriated by Macron’s decision to make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for health workers and necessary from August 1st for access to bars, restaurants cinemas and long-haul trains and buses.

Further manifs (demos) are expected next weekend. The numbers involved so far are small — by French standards — but they are still much higher than the government expected. They may grow. Alternatively, they may fade away as holiday season advances.

The two attacks on rural vaccination centres — one in a marquee at Urrugne in the western Pyrenees was entirely destroyed — are isolated incidents so far. There have also been attacks on the constituency offices of leading pro-Macron politicians and threats of violence against pro-vax politicians on line.

It is important to bear in mind that the great majority of French people — 60 to 70%  according to opinion polls — approve Macron’s decision last week to make France’s voluntary vaccination programme much less voluntary. From mid-September health and care workers face suspension and then dismissal if they fail to get vaccinated. From 1 August, access to most forms of fun as well as long-distance travel will require a “health pass”, indicating full vaccination or a recent negative test.

Macron justified this decision with two sets of figures. Firstly, a spike in Covid patients driven by the Delta variant threatens to cause a fourth wave of the pandemic, potentially as quickly as by the middle of next month. Secondly, the French vaccination programme, after a strong recovery from a slow start, has slumped, mostly because of lack of demand from young people in their 20s and 30s.

It is important to keep a sense of perspective in light of these protests. The great majority of French people have reacted positively to Macron’s ‘big stick’ legislative changes. Yes, over 100,000 people demonstrated last weekend — but around 6,000,000 people have signed up for their first jabs since Macron announced the policy on Monday of last week.

The manifs are respectable enough (Holocaust references apart). Anti-vaccine arguments are acceptable — even necessary — in a democracy, self-righteous and conspiracy-obsessed though they may sometimes be. However, the increasing turn towards violence amongst the vaccine-skeptical is a disturbing development. Macron must act now to punish those responsible, before the situation escalates out of control.

Join the discussion

  • A poll with a sample of a 1000 people, hardly representative.
    In March 2021, the Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental, a public agency, organized a consultation about the potential implementation of a health pass. Out of 110 000 respondents (so a MUCH bigger sample than the poll mentioned in the article), 72% were against it.
    Macron is playing with fire. He thinks he can get away with anything because he knows he will face Marine Lepen in the second round of the presidential elections. Apparently, he has not learnt a damn thing of the Yellow Vest movement. This is not going to end well for him and France in general.

  • Bret Weinstein, Unherd’s very own covid questioner (and disaster porn author here too) did a long interview with Tucker Carlson (of Fox) that was very typical of him where he mostly wanders off into the long grass to wrack himself, and the Ultra Liberal beliefs he holds, with angst after he ran up against the concrete wall of reality – at Evergreen. (he fell afowl of the very Racial Industrial Complex his beliefs and ilk created)
    But in this linked video he spends some time talking of issues that matter first, covid, and even gets to the point he says the Medical Industrial Complex is manipulating the entire covid response for greater $$$$, and at a vast harm to the public, although he mentions this may not be an intentional conspiracy, but merely how the marketing machine they have in place takes over… (yea right, but must be said unless one wants to meet them in court)

    Bret refuses the vaccine! So does his wife and children, wow – and he is a scientist, wow – and tells why…

    Anyway, a must watch on how covid is not at all as it is presented by the Government and pharma industries – Bret has thousands of house of covid stuff – enough he is kicked off youtube pretty much now… (They ‘Demonetized Him’ meaning the large amounts he was paid by Youtube advertisers has been stopped! – in a situation exactly like Mary wrote of here today)

    Search under Bret Weinstein, Tucker Carlson, youtube. I link below as I find links get me ‘Awaiting for Approval’

  • CRAZY Stuff, isn’t it. To sum it up he is saying Ivermectin has a large success at both preventing, and curing covid – BUT!!!! The medical industrial Complex has blocked ANY studies on Ivermectin because if it was scientifically shown to work against covid the Vaccines would lose their license, and be banned.

    See, the vaccines were given special licence to be used before full trials as there was NO known other treatment. If a treatment is scientifically found then the vaccines will lose their emergency license and 2 more years of trials would have to finish.

    The Ivermectin (search Dr Campbell on youtube for the world’s most favorite doctor, who believes in Ivermectin) studies have since all been stopped – and CDC, WHO, and every other governing body is colluding to block them – because the Big-Pharma $$$$$$$$$ would all be messed up…..

    Wild times.

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