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French protesters reject bill that requires vaccine passes

Although most protestors were peaceful, police used tear gas and water canon to disperse them in Paris.

The virus bill was approved Friday by the lower house. This is because virus infections are increasing and legislators in France are debating it Saturday. To protect hospitals and vulnerable persons, the French government is trying to accelerate vaccinations and avoid any new lockdown.

Many polls show that most French adults have been fully vaccinated. However, not all French people support the new measures.

Protesters shouting "Liberty!" Protesters chanting "Liberty!" marched through Paris, one of many demonstrations that took place throughout France on Saturday. A former top official of Marine Le Pen's antiimmigration party, a former top officer, also organized a crowd across the Seine River to the Eiffel Tower.

While protestors were generally calm, tensions flared at the Bastille march's margins. After a chair was thrown at an officer, riot police used tear gas to spray tear gas on protesters. Others projectiles were also launched. Later, some protesters moved towards the Arc de Triomphe. Police used water cannons to disperse them.

Far-right activists and politicians were among the marchers, as well as other people angry at President Emmanuel Macron. They were angry about a French "health card" that is required to enter cinemas, museums and tourist sites. The bill currently under discussion would extend the requirement for a pass to all French restaurants and bars, as well as other venues.

People must be fully vaccinated and have a negative test or proof that they have recovered from the virus in order to get the pass.

There is a wide range of opinions among lawmakers about how far they should go to impose mandatory vaccinations or health passes. France has seen more than 111,000 cases of the virus, with an average of 20,000 new infections per day. This is a significant increase from the few thousand that were reported in July.

Worldwide, more than 2 billion people have been vaccinated. Information about COVID-19 vaccines has become widely available. However, many protesters felt that they were being forced into doing something they aren't ready for.

Celine Augen is a secretary in a doctor's office and is ready to quit her job because she refuses to be vaccinated.

Engineer Ayoub Bouglia said that "We have to wait a bit before the French people decide..." A part of France will always be unwilling, so that blackmail and threats will not work.

Over 100,000 protestors protested against the measures in France last weekend.

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