Around 300 anti-vaccine passport protesters stormed the town hall of Chambéry, denouncing French measures to implement a vaccine passport.
The group had gathered in front of the courthouse at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday before heading for the town hall.
After noticing that the door to the town hall had been left open, the protesters entered, yelling various slogans, including, “No to the [vaccine] pass,” and “Macron must resign!” French broadcaster France Info reports.
The protesters then took down the official portrait of President Emmanuel Macron, a symbolic gesture that was also seen in late 2019 when climate activists stole the presidential portraits from some 130 town halls across France.
Amid Protests, French Vaccine Centre Suffers Alleged Arson Attack https://t.co/evTkbUcCiK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 21, 2021
“The city of Chambéry condemns with the utmost firmness this intrusion,” the mayor’s office said in a statement, and added that it was not “tolerable to attack republican symbols and the symbolic place that is a city hall”.
According to France Info, the demonstrators only remained in the town hall for 10 to 15 minutes before departing. They then continued their demonstration in other parts of the town before attempting to march to a nearby expressway road, but were blocked by local gendarmes. It was the third protest against vaccine passports in the city in a week.
The protest comes just days after an alleged arson attack on a vaccination centre in the municipality of Urrugne in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques county.
Philippe Aramendi, the mayor of Urrugne, said: “It may be too early to know if we are dealing with anti-vaxxers, but if they are, it is saddening.”
French businesses that do not check people for vaccine passports, the so-called "health pass", could face fines of up to €45,000 and a year in prison under a proposed new French law https://t.co/FKgYxq8n88
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 17, 2021
Last weekend, over 100,000 people took to the streets to protest France’s vaccine passport policy, which will see people required to present a health pass to access certain businesses such as restaurants or engage in various forms of travel.
Business owners that do not check for the health pass could also be punished under the new policy, with fines of up to €45,000 (£38,487/$53,100) and a year in prison.