Thousands of demonstrators marched through the French capital on Saturday as riot police clad in helmets and body armor tagged along. The vast majority of protesters appear to have been peaceful, although several isolated incidents were observed in which police deployed pepper spray.
A Ruptly livestream showed protesters chanting slogans and singing songs as they snaked their way through Paris. Many were sporting the iconic garb worn by supporters of the anti-austerity Yellow Vest movement, which over the past several years has caused considerable trouble for President Emmanuel Macron. Others waved flags and carried custom-made signs and banners calling for a return to “liberty.”
The march marked the fifth straight week of demonstrations held in Paris and other French cities. According to one popular Twitter account that has documented the weeks of demonstrations, dozens of events took place across France and its territories.
France recently introduced a compulsory vaccination regime for healthcare workers and other groups, as well as a digital vaccination ID required from all citizens for entrance to museums, movie theaters, swimming pools and other centers. The pass is also required for indoor and outdoor dining, a policy that has been visibly contested by Parisians. In an act of growing defiance, unauthorized ‘pop-up’ street venues have attracted huge crowds – as well as attention from the police.