Waving Canadian flags, the French “freedom convoy” sets off

NICE, France, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Protesters set off from southern France on Wednesday in what they call a “freedom convoy” that will converge on Paris and Brussels to demand an end to COVID-19 restrictions , inspired by protesters who blocked a Canadian border crossing.

About 200 protesters gathered in a parking lot in Nice, on France’s Mediterranean coast, many waving Canadian flags in a nod to truckers in Canada protesting their government’s COVID-19 restrictions. Read more

Protesters in Nice said they planned to travel first to Paris and then to Brussels – the seat of the European Union – to demand, among other things, the removal of rules barring people from entering public places if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19. .

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“A lot of people don’t understand why a vaccination pass is in effect in France,” said a man who helped coordinate the convoy from Nice and who went by the name Denis.

“Our job is to make Europe understand that the establishment of a health pass until 2023 is something that the majority of our fellow citizens do not understand,” said Denis.

Not everyone leaving Nice had planned to go to Paris or Brussels. The convoy consisted of motorcycles and passenger cars, but no trucks.

In the city of Perpignan, near the French border with Spain, around 200 people gathered to leave for Paris as part of the “freedom convoy” movement.

Their convoy was made up of cars, a few motorhomes and a truck.

“We’re just fed up with all this. We want to go where we want without being asked for a vaccination pass. At least with this action, I’m doing something,” said Nicolas Bourrat, a self-employed truck driver while he was about to hit the road.

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Additional report by Alexandre Minguez; written by Christian Lowe; edited by Philippa Fletcher and Angus MacSwan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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