Anti-vaccination protesters rally throughout France for eighth successive week

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Three people were arrested after anti-vaccination protesters clashed with police at a shopping centre in central Paris on Saturday during an eighth consecutive weekend of demonstrations against French government attempts to inoculate the population against the coronavirus.

Several hundred people forced their way into the Forum des Halles mall.before they were repelled by security forces.

The violence erupted as around 20,000 people marched through the capital in five separate groups to voice their anger over the health pass - certificates showing proof of vaccination or negative PCR tests - to enter restaurants and cafes as well as shopping centres.

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In a rally organised by the Patriots party, leader Florian Philippot hailed protesters for consistently turning out on the streets.

The former powerbroker in Marine Le Pen’s Front National party urged them to return on 11 September.

Organisers of the rallies said more than 150,000 people gathered in 200 demonstrations across France.

In Marseille several protesters barged their way into the Gare Saint Charles and there were scuffles as some demonstrators moved through the Passage Pommeraye in the western city of Nantes while others veered towards the cathedral.

Police reported around 15,000 protesters in Montpellier, Lyon Nice and Lille.

The latest round of dissent comes after students returned to schools and colleges throughout France after the summer holidays.

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Last week the government announced that pupils aged at least 12 could be vaccinated on site to ensure they are eligible for school trips when the health pass becomes compulsory for 12-17-year-olds on 30 September.

Nearly 115,000 people have died from the coronavirus in France since January 2020. France’s public health service on Saturday said nearly 11,000 people were recovering in hospital from the illness.

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