Protesters, police clash in Paris against Covid steps
July 25 2021 12:52 AM
A protester holds a placard during a demonstration called by the French nationalist party “Les Patriotes” (The Patriots) against France’s restrictions to fight the coronavirus outbreak, on the “Droits de l’Homme” (human rights) esplanade at the Trocadero Square in Paris yesterday. (Reuters)


French anti-riot police fired tear gas yesterday as clashes erupted during protests in central Paris against Covid-19 restrictions and a vaccination campaign, television reported.
Police sought to push back demonstrators near the capital’s Gare Saint-Lazare railway station after protesters had knocked over a police motorbike ridden by two officers, television pictures showed.
Images showed a heavy police presence on the capital’s streets. Scuffles between police and demonstrators also broke out the Champs-Elysees thoroughfare, where tear gas was fired and traffic was halted, the pictures showed.
At another protest called by far-right politicians in west Paris, demonstrators opposed to anti-coronavirus measures carried banners reading “Stop the dictatorship”.
Across France, protests were planned in cities including Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes and Toulouse.
An official with France’s interior ministry said 161,000 people had demonstrated across the country yesterday, up from 114,000 a week earlier.
French lawmakers are due to vote this weekend on a bill drafted by the government aimed at setting up a health pass and mandatory vaccination for health workers.

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