Big Protests Mark Global Anger At Covid Restrictions
Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Jul, 2021 ) :More than 100,000 people protested in Australia, France, Italy and Greece on Saturday, sparking clashes with police as they railed against Covid-19 measures and government sanctions against the unvaccinated aimed at prodding more people into getting jabs.
In France, where police deployed teargas and water cannon against some protesters, an estimated 160,000 took to the streets in nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron's health pass that will drastically curtail access to restaurants and public spaces for unvaccinated people.
- 'Don't touch our children' - "Freedom, freedom", chanted demonstrators in France, carrying placards denouncing "Macron, Tyrant", "Big Pharma shackles freedom" or saying "No to the pass of shame".
The demonstrations highlight the conflict globally between people caught between the advice of the World Health Organization and other public health agencies and the need to earn a living -- or simply to return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle.
Meanwhile, around 5,000 people demonstrated in Athens, carrying placards touting slogans such as, "Don't touch our children", according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
Earlier in Sydney, demonstrators pelted officers with pot plants and bottles of water as they defied a month-long stay-at-home order, a day after authorities suggested the restrictions could remain in place until October.
Police said they issued nearly 100 fines and arrested 57 people.
There is growing anger at the restrictions and the conservative government's failure to provide adequate vaccine supplies.
Just 11 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Legislation now being considered by lawmakers will make vaccinations compulsory for certain professions, while the controversial health pass will severely restrict social life for holdouts from the end of July.
While more than three-quarters of French people backed Macron's measures, according to a July 13 Elabe poll for BFMTV, a sizeable and vocal minority do not. Elodie, 34, a care assistant at a Strasbourg nursing home, denounced "the blackmail of caregivers who were at the front line" during the first wave and who are now threatened" with "no more pay" and even being fired.
"They've been lying to us since the beginning," she said.