Emmanuel Macron portrait smashed by protestors in Poitiers
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Hundreds of protesters continue to demonstrate across France as citizens oppose President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to introduce vaccine passports in the country. Footage emerged which shows dozens of demonstrators storming the western city of Poitiers’ city hall and ripping down a portrait of Mr Macron before destroying it as tensions continue to mount against the head of state’s pandemic handling. Mr Macron introduced the passports as a way to tackle the French vaccine uptake slump which will deny entry to on trains, hospitality venues and flights unless a person has been double vaccinated which was passed by politicians on Sunday.
Videos of protesters on Saturday show crowds stamping and tearing up a portrait of Mr Macron which was displayed at the Poitier city hall.
An estimated 700 protesters marched through the streets over the weekend demanding the vaccine passport is dropped.
Local media reports two men were arrested during the Saturday outburst with one man suspected of stealing a tricolour.
The other man, a 52-year-old, was charged with damaging the portrait and was handed a 15-day suspended sentence.
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The mayor of Poitiers, Leonor Moncond’huy, condemned the protesters and suggested they had also assaulted a municipal agent.
She shared in a Twitter post: “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.”
Sacha Houlié, a politician for Macron’s La Republique En Marche!, also attacked the protesters.
France: Protesters march on streets against health pass
He added: “Insults, death threats, shameful comparisons, invasions of public places, portraits of the president torn. France of Pasteur, the city of Descartes, is ashamed of these individuals who denounce dictatorship while adopting [its] customs.”
Further protests were also carried out over the weekend as French citizens condemn the introduction of the vaccine passport.
This week, hundreds took to the street of Paris to attack the latest COVID-19 measures as Mr Macrn addresses the vaccine uptake slump.
During a press conference, Mr Macron announced vaccine passports, mandatory vaccines for health workers, localised curfews and the end of free PCR tests.
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Mr Macron hopes the end of the free PCR tests, unless on prescription, would encourage people to get the vaccine rather than constantly test themselves.
Following the announcement, over two million people booked vaccine appointments in the days that followed with the French health portal crashing due to the influx of traffic.
However, protesters took to the street during the Bastille Day celebrations as demonstrators clashed with riot police over the decision.
Tear gas was launched into crowds of people before being kicked back at lines of French police.
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