Protesters on French island pelt MP with seaweed over Covid pass | France

Protesters opposed to the Covid regulations bombarded a French MP with seaweed and stones outside his home in the overseas territory of St Pierre and Miquelon over the weekend.

Stéphane Claireaux, member of the ruling La République en Marche party (LREM), said he had lodged an official complaint with the police after the attack, which his fellow deputies described as a “lynching”.

Claireaux said he had come out to speak to protesters who were angry with the decision of local authorities to impose the “sanitary pass”. When his wife joined him, she was also assaulted, he said.

The rule was announced by the state representative, the prefect, on January 2 and angered residents of St-Pierre-et-Miquelon, an overseas territory in the northwest Atlantic. near Canada.

In mainland France, the health pass, or health pass, has been in effect since last summer and requires people to have been vaccinated, recovered from the coronavirus or have a negative Covid test to access public places, including bars, cafes, restaurants, museums, theaters and long-distance trains.

A bill is currently being examined in Parliament to strengthen these restrictions and introduce a “vaccine pass”. If adopted, it would make access to many public places conditional on a person being fully immunized.

“I am going to file a complaint with the police, it is obvious,” Claireaux told France Info radio on Monday. He said he was waiting outside his house to talk to the protesters when they started bombing him.

“There was a car loaded with algae and people started throwing it in my face. It was like stoning, ”he continued. “My wife came to meet me on the front porch of the house. I dodged a pebble that missed our faces by about 2 inches, “he added.

The vaccination bill passed with a large majority on first reading by the National Assembly, the lower house, last week after a bitter debate. It is examined by the Senate before returning to the National Assembly for a final vote. If approved, the government declares that the law will come into force on January 17.

Annick Girardin, the Minister for the Sea, denounced Claireaux’s “attack”, claiming to have been the target of “numerous projectiles violently thrown at her face followed by stone throwing”. Marc Fesneau, another minister, noted “the cowardice of targeting a single, peaceful and defenseless man who was assaulted in front of his own house”.

“An intolerable line has been crossed,” Fesneau said.

Sébastien Lecornu, the French overseas minister, said Claireaux had been “lynched in front of his family home”. Lecornu specified that he and Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, had “instructed the prefect of St-Pierre-et-Miquelon to ensure the protection of the deputy”.

Christophe Castaner, the leader of the LREM group in the National Assembly, said there were 322 threats against MPs in 2021. There have been numerous reports of attacks against MPs and their property. Cars and garages were set on fire, property covered in graffiti and MPs receiving intimidating messages, including death threats.

More than 100,000 protesters rallied across France on Saturday against new restrictions on unvaccinated people. The protests drew four times as many people in December, according to government estimates, and came after French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to ‘piss off’ those who refused to be vaccinated by giving them back their lives. difficult. Valérie Pecresse, a conservative presidential candidate, said Macron was driving a wedge across the country.

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