French anti-containment protesters in Poitiers gathered for a protest against the new vaccine passport system introduced by French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month. About 700 people were present and dozens of them attempted to invade the government building, which was open for a wedding at the time of the protest. Footage from the scene showed people stomping on Mr Macron’s portrait before tearing it up and throwing it out the window as the crowd outside cheered.
Many people, including the mayor of the western city of Poitiers Léonor Moncond’huy, condemned the incident.
Mr. Moncond’huy said on Twitter: “I strongly condemn the degradation of the town hall of #Poitiers and the assault of a municipal agent on the sidelines of the demonstrations that day.
“Freedom of expression must be exercised with respect for the rule of law and for individuals, and cannot justify any violence.
“The France of Pasteur, the city of Descartes, is ashamed of these individuals who denounce the dictatorship by adopting [its] customs. “
The protest comes after in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, National Rally leader Marine Le Pen argued that Mr Macron’s presidency has only divided France.
She said: “The Covid, like all crises, has acted as an indicator and an accelerator.
“An indicator of the scientific, health or hospital decline of France, unable to develop its own vaccine, to produce paracetamol or to have enough resuscitation beds.
JUST IN: Switzerland sides with Britain on Brexit on key international treaty
“This crisis has revealed the limits of the Macron government’s decisions, the inability to anticipate and the lack of vision.
“The economic impact of these shortcomings and even of these policy mistakes is dramatic.
“We haven’t finished paying them.
Ms. Le Pen, who is preparing for her third presidential candidacy next spring, added: “Macron, who presented himself as an economic champion, will leave a country in the grip of accelerated deindustrialisation, destabilized by a record unemployment rate and crushed by abysmal debt. “
“Macron’s main failure is to have divided the French. The yellow vests crisis bears witness to this.
“I want to unite them in a great collective project which will be implemented by a government of national unity.
Last weekend, police estimated 100,000 people joined protests against the new Covid measures – some of them under the yellow vests banner.
Another round of protests is planned for this weekend.
An internal Home Ministry report called the protests “exceptional in scale,” warning that further large-scale protests were likely, and said some officials associated with the government’s COVID-19 measures must be extremely vigilant about their safety.
DO NOT MISS :
Switzerland sides with Britain on Brexit on key international treaty [INSIGHT]
Macron will leave France crushed by an “abyssal debt” – Le Pen warning [EXCLUSIVE]
Sturgeon’s own advisers “not crazy enough to support SNP’s currency plan” [REVEALED]
Mohamed Boukifa, a 40-year-old baker, joined a demonstration of yellow vests against the health pass on Wednesday in Paris.
He said he had followed the Yellow Vests on social media but had never joined a protest before this week.
He said: “I am not here because I am against the vaccine.
“I am here to defend our freedoms. We cannot be forced to be vaccinated. “
The yellow vests movement started in 2018 as a protest against diesel taxes, then turned into a wave of anger over the high cost of living and income inequality.
The yellow vests blocked the roads and organized protest marches, often clashing with the police.
Billions of euros in tax cuts put an end to the uprising.
After six months, he started to run out of steam, with followers continuing to protest, but in decreasing numbers.