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Vaccination passport protests in France: A ritual—or a developing revolt?

Written By | Aug 8, 2021
France, French vaccination pass protests

Vaccine Passport protests, Paris, 08/07/2021. YouTube screen capture via TV/Ye.

WASHINGTON – Protests in France are as ritualized as church services. Why would it be any different for the 2021 vaccination passport protests? But will this week’s protests prove the beginning of a developing revolt?

France faces its fourth weekend of vaccination passport protests

The fourth big weekend of this ongoing series of vaccination passport protests and demonstrations is now underway in Paris. The crowd, which grows larger every week, starts walking down the street. Police hover nearby like deuteragonist, Miss Clavel of “Madeline” fame. The route appears have formal beginning and end points. Participants and law enforcement personnel expect unexpected incidents along the way. Every participant has a role in these protests.

The police, themselves exempt from having to take the vaccine, escort the protesters every step of the way. Depending upon what’s more or less “expected,” the officers walk in kettle formation.  This tactic serves to prevent the crowd from escaping down side streets.

Sometimes the police wear full riot gear. A few skirmishes will likely occur, settle down, perhaps recur. The entire event is a performance with a beginning, a buildup, a climax, some complications, another climax, and a denouement. Then everyone goes home, seeks medical attention or maybe ends the day posting bail. Rinse, repeat.

France: A long history of protesting

The French have a long history of protesting. In fact, it has become a form of street theater, even when an event is cancelled. For example, here’s how people protested the cancelling of a climate change protest in 2015:

“Thousands of demonstrators gathered in central Paris … and formed a human chain along the route of a long-planned protest march that was banned by France’s Socialist government in a security crackdown following attacks by Islamic extremists earlier this month.

“Environmental and other activists also lined up shoes on Paris streets to represent the people barred from protesting….”

It’s like using different vestments to celebrate Mass as Christian seasons change. Or adding different responses to the usual prayers. Or changing outfits on the Infant of Prague.

Music often accompanies this year’s vaccination passport protests

For the 2021 vaccination passport protests, music fills the background. Live bands sometimes provide the music. Alternatively, individual drummers keep order, often supplying dirge-like or military rhythms.

Most recently, a sarabande by Handel accompanied an unsettling mass of ghostly, white-masked street performers:

France standardizes ways to deal with protesters. Will they work this week?

Over time, the French police have standardized ways to deal with unruly protestors getting out of line. They threaten the protesters, then rough them up. If that still proves ineffective, they spray clouds of tear gas into the crowds.

Sometimes, the police feel the need to respond beyond the call of duty. Example: keeping protestors out of public fountains. If you count the number of cops against the number of offenders, the clip below seems almost funny. Except for the gratuitous tear-gassing at 0:40.

Standardized behavior, standardized response…

French protestors engage in a range of general predictable behaviors that occur at unpredictable times. The current vaccination passport protests follow the standard pattern. They throw projectiles, start fires, jeer the French cops and periodically try to break the police line.

The French gendarmes, however, also have a standard lineup of responses and equipment available to them. These include billy clubs, tear gas, side arms and handcuffs. Last year, they even staged their own protest, hurling their handcuffs on the ground in opposition to measures taken by the government to counter alleged police violence.

From protest to protest, only the symbols and tokens change. Those whom the protesters attempt to influence allow the rituals to unfold. Then they do what they had previously planned to do, regardless of the situation at hand.

It’s not my purpose to belittle protests in France or anywhere. But the participants in the current vaccination passport protests are starting to understand that standardized protest methods are no longer enough to break an escalating pattern of government oppression and abuse toward French citizens.

Vaccination passports in France and elsewhere may conceal something more sinister

It is slowly becoming clear to the French and other Europeans that their governments are moving toward enslaving their citizens and depriving them of their constitutional rights. Likewise, they are beginning to understand that elected and appointed employees of the people will use any means necessary to subdue their fellow citizens, most of whom they loathe.

But let’s focus on France for now. Protests there—specifically, vaccination passport protests and vaccination-related protests — have been going on for months. The French Government cycles through a series of delays and appeasements, hoping the protests fizzle out. But, finding these measures ineffective, officials next escalate into various methods of oppression.

So starting Monday, August 9, 2021, the central government has decided to stop talking. They now require internal Covid-19 vaccination “passports”—passes sanitaires—to be carried by everyone in France. Except police, of course, and most likely anyone in positions of authority. As stated in

“The health pass will be extended to bars, cafés, restaurants (excluding terraces), gyms, as well as shopping malls. It will also apply to hospitals, retirement homes, medico-welfare establishments, as well as planes, trains, and coaches for long-haul journeys. … ”

Yet for some in France, as well as across Europe, this kind of “passport” system reminds Europeans of their tragic 20th century history. It reminds some of what began to unfold in 1930s Germany. That is not a pleasant memory.

Who will participate in Monday’s vaccination passport protests?

Currently, already vaccinated French citizens aren’t necessarily the ones ready to protest. Why should they? Most of them have likely bought into this naked governmental social control experiment. Plus, they’ve already received the vaccine.

The Yellow Jackets are back out there, of course, rain or shine. But outside of Paris, they aren’t as numerous as those in the streets elsewhere France. On the other hand, if Yellow Jackets do participate in significant numbers along with the unvaccinated protestors, it’s possible they could deploy skills that already gained them concessions before. In this way, they could help influence the current protests and potential outcomes.

Whatever the case, right now, it’s too early to predict the outcome of Monday’s French festivities. But we should note that the original American Revolution proved a model of order compared to what the French did with theirs. And history sometimes has a way of repeating itself.

Side note: The Macron-Klaus Schwab connection

A little noted fact underlying this week’s potential outcomes: French President Emmanuel Macron is a devoted acolyte of Klaus Schwab, a wealthy and highly influential globalist. Macron’s devotion to Schwab shines through, as evidenced by the big-hug photo between the two I posted everywhere I could during last weekend’s protests.

It may be hard for Macron to disappoint Schwab, the author and originator of “Covid19: The Great Reset.” That book promotes the idea that the continuing  turmoil surrounding the Covid situation could present the best opportunity yet for Schwab and his fellow globalists — like George Soros — to “fundamentally transform” Western capitalism into some kind of top-down socialism led, ironically, by mega-wealthy industrialists.

Macron’s current situation seems analogous to Hillary Clinton after America’s Election 2016. She apologized to Barack Obama for losing that election to Donald Trump, setting back Obama’s own plans for a major governmental “reset” in America. One not dissimilar to what Klaus Schwab and friends apparently envision. (“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” p. 614).

Another thing:

Beyond the current vaccination pass protests, even ordinary French people are obsessed with discussing the meaning of life and other philosophical stuff—way more than Americans are. These conversations can transcend logic and heat up cafe discussions fast. I don’t underestimate their ability to work each other into a frenzy and act on that. But they do.

It’s possible that Macron unconsciously downplays this French tendency. After all, he hangs around too much with logical Germans who habitually reason from false premises. But that’s pure speculation on my part.

The standard protest ritual may be embedded too deeply in the French collective unconscious to abandon the pattern this week. But let’s see what actually happens.


Frances Ponick

Fran Ponick is a speaker, author, commentator, teacher, and coach. She has decades of experience in technical, business, marketing, and proposal writing and editing, and has won awards in journalism, formal poetry, and acting. She has also served as a consultant to DoD. Her book, Only Angels Can Wing It: How to Prepare a Eulogy Quickly and Present It Compassionately, is available from