Protesters demonstrate against COVID-19 vaccine mandates
Fox News Flash top headlines for February 12
Police in Paris used tear gas Saturday against protesters inspired by the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” who were demonstrating against COVID-19 vaccine mandates on the Champs-Élysées avenue
French police set up checkpoints on roads into Paris, stopping more than 500 vehicles from heading to the protest, but dozens were able to get through. Tear gas was fired, and several protesters were detained as some demonstrators climbed on their vehicles in the middle of the road.
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A man walks through tear gas on the Place Charles De Gaulle in Paris Feb. 12, 2022, as convoys of protesters, “Convoi de la Liberte,” arrived in the French capital. (Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images)
The chaos was a response to the vaccination pass required by the French government for people to enter many indoor public venues, including restaurants. As in Canada, those restrictions have seen significant backlash from those claiming they are unnecessary and overly restrictive.
The Parisian protesters honked at onlookers, waved French flags and shouted “Freedom,” The Associated Press reported.
Protests have been going on for months in France, often resulting in clashes with police, but had been waning recently. Protesters were given a boost from the convoy in Canada, where truckers have snarled traffic at three border crossings over the Canadian government’s strict vaccine mandates.
Protesters hold placards at a demonstration in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Police moved in on demonstrators on the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan, though some have vowed to keep up the protests. Some demonstrators remained on the bridge overnight despite an emergency order demanding they reopen the bridge and allow traffic to pass. Others exited the bridge, obeying law enforcement’s demand that they move their vehicles.
Similar protests are expected in the coming days in multiple U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, prompting concern among U.S. government officials. President Biden recently spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the protests in Canada, which have slowed supply chains and transportation routes between the two countries.
DHS MOVES TO COUNTER TRUCK CONVOY IN US AHEAD OF SUPER BOWL SUNDAY AMID TRUCKER PROTESTS
The Department of Homeland Security warned U.S. law enforcement and public safety officials this week that a trucker convoy protesting vaccine mandates could begin Feb. 13, the same day as Super Bowl LVI, and could create significant traffic jams and supply disruptions.
The White House has said DHS forces are working with California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department, state and local authorities, as well as “extensive air and maritime security resources” to counter any protests.
A demonstrator kicks at a tear gas grenade during a protest on the Champs-Élysées avenue, Saturday, Feb.12, 2022, in Paris. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
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Inspired protests have also been seen in New Zealand and the Netherlands, where dozens of trucks and vehicles blocked an entrance to The Hague, with some carrying a banner that said, “Love & Freedom, no dictatorship” in Dutch.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and Caitlin McFall, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.