In the heart of summer, the protest rumbles. For the fourth consecutive weekend, demonstrations against the health pass were held in France, two days before its generalization, Monday, August 9. Saturday evening, the Interior Ministry estimated the number of participants at 237,000, against 204,000 on July 31, in 198 rallies across the country.
In one week, 33,000 people therefore came to swell the ranks of a protest launched in mid-July, after Emmanuel Macron’s speech. The mobilization in particular gained momentum in the South-East where 47,000 demonstrators were identified. Across the country, the workforce has varied, from ten people on the island of Oléron to 19,000 in Toulon, including overseas.
A month after the start of the protest, the profiles of the demonstrators remain heterogeneous. In the processions, all political nuances are represented, from the extremes in the center to people who call themselves “apolitical”. Some have beaten the pavement for the first time, but there are also yellow vests.
The contrast was visible in Paris where several separate processions marched. On the initiative of one of them, leaving the Military School, we found Florian Philippot, former number two of the National Front, for whom the health crisis seems a godsend in an attempt to rally an electorate at odds with the institutions. In the 14e arrondissement, near Boulevard de Port-Royal, citizens and yellow vests paraded to the Louvre.
But the disparities do not end there. In Lorient (Morbihan) for example, families, the elderly and many health professionals took part in the demonstration. With anti- and pro-vaccines, but all “anti-health pass”. Many express a sense of “Compulsory vaccination in disguise” and deprivation of liberty. The word also punctuates the processions, declined in slogans or placards from north to south, and from east to west.