About 300 vaccine passport protesters stormed the town hall of Chambéry in France to decry the French government's new mandates on vaccine passports.
At around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, a large group gathered in front of the courthouse, the door of which was left open. They proceeded to enter and decry the vaccine passport and demanded for President Emmanuel Macron to resign.
According to Breitbart, the French town hall protesters took down the official portrait of the president, a symbolic gesture that occured in 2019 when climate activists stole presidential portraits in 130 town halls all over the country.
France Info reported that the vaccine passport protesters demonstrated in the French town hall for about 10 to 15 minutes before leaving and continuing their march in other parts of the town. They were later blocked by local gendarmes when they attempted to march towards an expressway road. This protest was the third in just one week and came after an arson attack at a vaccination center in Pyrénées-Atlantiques county's Urrugne municipality.
A Twitter user named Marie Oakes uploaded a video of the incident, showing angry protesters stomping on Macron's portrait then tearing it apart in the sight of people.
On Saturday, July 24, 2021, protesters against the Macron government domestic vaccine pass took over the town hall of Poitiers, France.
The portrait of President Emmanuel Macron was taken down, torn and then thrown out the window. pic.twitter.com/Fddg9IDD5K
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) July 26, 2021
On Monday, the Associated Press reported that France's parliament approved a new measure that requires a vaccine passport for all restaurants and domestic travel and vaccine mandates for all health workers. The new law orders health care workers to get vaccinated by September 15 or face suspensions. For the general public, a "health pass" is required to enter "all restaurants, planes, and some other public venues."
The law is set to be applied to all adults but will apply to those aged 12 and up beginning September 30.
On Saturday, 160,000 people came together to protest the "vaccine pass" and mandatory COVID vaccination for health care workers. Later during a visit to a hospital in French Polynesia, President Macron argued, "What is your freedom worth if you say to me 'I don't want to be vaccinated,' but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?"
President Macron said that while protesters are "free to express themselves in a calm and respectful manner," their demonstrations will not alleviate the COVID problem the country is currently facing. He also criticized those "people who are in the business of irrational, sometimes cynical, manipulative mobilization" against COVID vaccination.
About 44.4% of France's entire population have been fully vaccinated, amounting to 29.8 million people. According to Insider, there was a sharp increase in vaccine appointments booked following President Macron's July 12 announcement mandating vaccine passports across the country.
Those who remained unvaccinated rushed to book appointments and the medical appointment-booking website Doctolib saw upwards of 926,000 new bookings for the first dose of the two-dose COVID vaccine. On Tuesday, 350,000 more people signed up, coming up to a total of 1.3 million people in just 14 hours.
The French government is racing against time and have resorted to vaccine passport plans after it saw an uptick of 20,000 new COVID infections per day from a few thousand earlier in July.