Vaccination centers in France hit by anti-vax vandalism

2021-08-13 13:08:41China Daily Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

Growing ranks of anti-vaccination protesters have rallied in France and Germany this week to oppose what they call a "health dictatorship" and loss of liberty.

In France, vandals were reported to have attacked more than 20 vaccination centers and other health facilities, with some including pharmacies, tagged with swastikas and graffiti such as "collaborator", "Nazi" and "genocide".

A total of 22 health facilities have been attacked or defaced in France since July 12, according to an interior ministry official cited by Reuters.

Last Saturday, similar slogans were seen at protests in cities across France in a fourth consecutive weekend of demonstrations.

Anger has been stoked by the French government's introduction of the health pass, generated in a QR code, which shows proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test, which is now compulsory for entering many public places.

President Emmanuel Macron, who has expressed exasperation with the protests, hopes that the plan will help ramp up vaccinations and quell a fourth wave of the coronavirus in France, reported France24.

Reuters reported that in Urrugne, in the Pyrenees, protesters set fire to a tent at a temporary vaccination center. It also said that in Audincourt, eastern France, vaccine doses were endangered when the power supply to a vaccination center was cut off.

"Wrecking a vaccination center speaks volumes about the motives of the perpetrators, who will be tracked down," French Health Minister Olivier Veran said in a tweet.

The Delta variant has led to a spike in new cases in France, with the latest figures reporting more than 30,000 daily cases for the first time in four months.

In Germany, the "Querdenker" (Lateral Thinkers) movement has emerged as the loudest voice against the nation's restrictions, noted the Daily Telegraph. Demonstrators carry signs saying "Freedom" and "No to the corona dictatorship", it reported.

Last month, thousands of Italians took part in similar demonstrations across the country against vaccine passports, and Greece has reported similar protests, the Telegraph said.

Demonstrations took place in Milan, Rome, Bologna, Padua, Genoa, Naples and Florence. In Milan, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi was depicted on a placard as Hitler and by protesters in Rome as a Nazi SS officer.

One protester was arrested in France this week for brandishing a sign that suggested well-known Jewish figures were "traitors" responsible for what marchers called the country's "health dictatorship", reported the Financial Times.

The newspaper said the groupings of protesters in different locations are united in opposition to what they view as the "loss of liberty under authoritarian governments".

The paper quoted Karen Umansky, a fellow at Tel Aviv University, as saying: "There is a strong correlation between vaccine hesitancy and populism," and added that populism thrives when there is an "alleged enemy to blame".


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2021 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.