PARIS – Thousands protested on Saturday in Australia, France, Italy and Greece, clashing with police as they raided against COVID-19 measures and government restrictions aimed at inciting more people to take their shots Was.
Dozens of protesters were arrested in Sydney after an unauthorized march in which the city’s police minister called the participants “fools”.
The organizers had termed the protest as a freedom rally. Attendees carried signs and banners reading “Wake Up Australia” and “Drain the Swamp”.
In France, where police deployed tear gas and a water cannon against some demonstrators, an estimated 160,000 took to the streets in nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s health pass, which ran to restaurants and public places for people without vaccinations will reduce access.
‘Don’t touch our kids’
Protesters in France held placards denouncing “Freedom, Liberty,” “Macron, the dictator,” “Freedom is chained to Big Pharma” or “There is no shame.”
The demonstrations highlight the advice of the World Health Organization and other public health agencies and the conflict globally between those who refuse vaccination for one reason or another.
In Indonesia and the United Kingdom, governments have eased pandemic restrictions despite rising cases of coronavirus infection.
Meanwhile, around 5,000 people demonstrated in Athens, raising slogans such as “don’t touch our children”, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.
Thousands protested in at least 80 cities across Italy as Rome tries to slow the rise in COVID-19 infections. Most were not wearing masks.
The Green Pass, an extension of the EU’s digital COVID certificate, will be required from 6 August for anyone who wants to enter cinemas, museums, indoor swimming pools or sports stadiums, or eat indoors in restaurants.
This will serve as evidence that one has either been vaccinated, has recently undergone a negative COVID-19 test, or has recovered from a coronavirus infection.
Italy’s decision to make passes mandatory for many activities on Thursday saw a 200% increase in vaccine bookings in smaller regions, according to the COVID-19 emergency chief Francesco Figuolo.
Half Australia in lockdown
Earlier in Sydney, protesters pelted potted plants and water bottles at officials as they defied a month-long stay-at-home order, a day after officials suggested the restrictions could remain in place until October.
New South Wales State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she “absolutely detested” the protesters whose “selfish actions have compromised the safety of all of us.”
Police said they issued around 100 fines and arrested 57 people.
Six people were arrested in Melbourne. Police said.
New South Wales Police Minister David Elliott said a team of detectives would go through the footage in the coming days to identify and charge as many people as possible.
“Sydney is not immune to fools,” he said.
Sydney, a city of more than five million people, is struggling to contain an outbreak of the delta variant, first identified in India and now spreading globally.
After surviving the initial pandemic, nearly half of Australia’s 25 million people are now in lockdown in several cities.
Anger is mounting over the sanctions and the Conservative government’s failure to provide adequate vaccine supplies.
Only 11% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
hard to shoot
In France, as elsewhere in Europe, the government is making it harder for reluctant citizens to stop taking their shots.
Now being considered by lawmakers will make vaccinations mandatory for some businesses, while the controversial health pass will severely restrict social life for a holdout that begins later this month.
There were signs that the stringent measures announced on 13 July were having the desired effect: 48% of the population had been fully vaccinated by Friday, up 8 percentage points from 10 July.
While more than three-quarters of French people support Macron’s measures, a large and vocal minority do not, according to a July 13 Elabay survey for BFMTV.
Elodie, 34, a care assistant at a Strasbourg nursing home, denounced the “blackmail of carers” during the first wave and those who were now “with no more pay” and even has been removed.
“They’ve been lying to us from the beginning,” she said.