It Worked: Over 100,000 French Protest Vax Pass After Macron Vowed to ‘Piss Off’ Unvaxed

TOPSHOT - Demonstrators gather during a protest against the health pass and Covid-19 vaccines after the call of leader of French nationalist party "Les Patriotes" (The Patriots) Florian Philippot, at Place du Palais-Royal, Paris, on January 8, 2022. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty …
CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images

Over 100,000 took to the streets on Saturday to protest France’s impending vaccine pass regime days after President Macron said he wanted to “piss off” the unjabbed.

Macron seems to have succeeded in his desire to “piss off” a segment of the French population, with over 100,000 turning up to demonstrations across France in protest of the President’s incoming regime of vaccine passes.

The new measures, which were approved by the French National Assembly earlier in the week, will see the unvaccinated and those without recently acquired natural immunity barred from pubs and restaurants, as well as a host of other venues.

According to a report by Le Monde, French police counted around 18,000 demonstrators in Paris alone, with large turnouts in places such as Montpellier and Toulouse.

Florian Philippot, head of the eurosceptic Les Patriotes party, spoke to those gathered, saying that he was waiting for “the government to give up, to withdraw this crazy law”, as well as for Macron to apologise for the “filthy and divisive remarks he made”.

Also at the rally was the head of the French police association Policiers en Colère, Bruno Attal, who said that officers within the organisation had no intention of “pissing off” parts of the population who may be targetted by restrictions.

“We are here to piss off thugs and delinquents, not citizens who have become ‘sub-citizens'”, Attal said.

Organisers claim that over 400,000 French turned out to protests across the country on Saturday, though they emphasised that their headcount was done independently of the government’s Ministry of the Interior, whose estimate of 100,000 people is supposedly the “only precise and real count”.

France’s regime of vaccine passes was originally due to commence on January 15th, but that date will likely be moved back after the government experienced a number of setbacks due to controversy surrounding legislation corresponding to the measure.

A bill that would bring the measures into force was delayed multiple times in the French National Assembly, with debate on the legislation having been postponed twice due to issues raised by sceptical representatives.

This intense controversy was only heightened after an interview emerged earlier in the week describing President Emmanuel Macron as saying that he wished to “piss off” unvaccinated people in France.

“Me, I’m not for pissing off the French,” the president reportedly said. “But as for the unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off.”

Macron went on to describe how the government wanted to “up pressure” on the unjabbed in the country by limiting their social activities, lambasting the “the immense moral fault of antivax”.

“When [the individual’s] freedom threatens the freedom of others, [the individual is] irresponsible,” Macron said, asserting that “An irresponsible person is no longer a citizen”.

Despite this controversy, however, the bill eventually passed in the assembly with a comfortable margin of  214 to 93, with just 27 abstaining from the vote.

The legislation surrounding the vaccination pass is to be debated by the French Senate this coming Monday.

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