(Update 1: Adds the protesters’ arrival to central Paris)
Paris, Feb 12 (EFE).- France’s Freedom Convoys, made up of thousands of people protesting covid restrictions, on Saturday managed to access the capital’s iconic Champs-Élysées despite a ban and police deployment to prevent the motorists from entering the city.
Inspired by Canada’s recent protests, the protesters managed to access downtown Paris and protest next to the Arc de Triomphe, despite the deployment of some 7,200 officers and armored vehicles.
Unlike the Yellow Vest protests, the Freedom Convoys remain peaceful without clashes with security forces or vandalism.
Police tried to disperse protesters on several occasions as local authorities had not approved the rallies.
Some 337 people have been fined for participating in a banned demonstration, according to local authorities.
The Freedom Convoys have emerged in several cities over the week and gained momentum on their way to the capital.
Inspired by the Ottawa protesters, the movement published a series of demands on social media to share their anger at covid restrictions and a vaccine pass that limits the movement of non-vaccinated citizens.
In an open letter addressed to President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex, protesters demanded back “the freedom that has been deprived (from us) for two years due to exceptional circumstances that no longer exist.”
Protestors are demanding the vaccination rollout to be halted and for independent research to be done into the side effects of covid jabs.
They also request that health workers who have been fired for refusing to get jabbed return to their posts and that all workers who have suffered consequences for not being inoculated receive a settlement for damages.EFE