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HomeNewsInternational NewsFrench convoys protesting virus rules advance toward Paris

French convoys protesting virus rules advance toward Paris


French and Belgian authorities move to bar protests over pandemic restrictions inspired by blockades in Canada.

(AL Jazeera) – Protesters angry over pandemic restrictions drove toward Paris in scattered convoys of camper vans, cars and trucks Friday in an effort to blockade the French capital, despite a police ban.

The protesters organised online, galvanised in part by truckers who have blockaded Canada’s capital and blocked border crossings. But the French action has no clear leader or goal, and comes as months of protests against French government vaccination and other anti-virus rules have been waning.

Paris region authorities deployed more than 7,000 police officers to tollbooths and other key sites to try to prevent a blockade. They threatened heavy fines and other punishments for those who defy the protest ban, which authorities said was necessary to prevent “risk to public order.”

Some of the French groups are threatening to continue their journey to the Brussels, the capital of the Belgium and the European Union, and to meet up there with drivers from other countries on Monday.

Belgian authorities also banned the threatened blockade, and a similar “freedom convoy” planned for Friday in Vienna was canceled after authorities banned it.

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