Time.news – In France there is an air of rebellion and intolerance while the country is grappling with the third wave of Covid-19 and with a new four-week confinement in 16 departments. Over 6,500 people took part in a carnival parade in Marseille, without a mask or social distancing, forcing the police to intervene to disperse the unauthorized gathering.
Most of the participants were young people who did not wear masks, massed and danced through the streets of the center of the second city of France, ending on the old port where they set fire to the floats and continued the celebrations.
“I am angry about the selfish behavior of some irresponsible people. It is unacceptable. Nothing justifies that collective efforts to stem the virus are compromised,” tweeted the mayor, Benoit Payan, calling for sanctions for those who have broken the current rules. “It was a totally unacceptable rally,” said the spokesman for the Interior Ministry, reporting that at least 9 people were arrested and dozens fined. In light of the growing popular discontent with the restrictions, the municipal administration of Limoges, in the Haute Vienne department (Center) has decided to leave its 132,000 inhabitants free choice as to whether to wear a mask or not, even when taking part in rallies. .
“I have faith in the population. Globally in the city center people show common sense. We also have many areas with low population density, not in Beijing, Wuhan or Paris,” said the right-wing mayor, Emile Roger Lombertie. explaining his choice to let the residents decide for themselves. “I have always said that you have to wear a mask to protect yourself, even when at the beginning of the epidemic we were told the opposite. We need discernment”, insisted the mayor, a former doctor.
“I prefer education-based prevention work to obligatory work. I observe the data and like a doctor if I find an increase in infections, I will make the mask mandatory. So far self-discipline is working very well,” added Lombertie.
According to the Regional Health Agency (Ars) even though Limoges is part of a region with a high level of alert, at the moment, local data do not show a higher trend in the growth of infections compared to other cities. Speaking to France Info, the spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior, Camille Chaize, stressed that “while all the French make an effort, adapt, organize themselves to respect the different regulations as much as possible, we see people celebrating and that in the most total irresponsibility participated in this carnival “.
Although Marseille is not one of the regions in which a new lockdown has entered into force since Saturday, there remains the obligation to observe some restrictions on the limitations to public gatherings and to wear a mask. “We no longer listen to these clowns: we live! A big applause in Marseille! Long live the freedom!“tweeted Florian Philippot, president of Patriotes (LP), a nationalist and Eurosceptic party.
A march of a thousand citizens in Annecy, gathered without masks, asked for more freedom and a relaxation of health restrictions. The demonstrators launched a slogan in favor of the “end of the health dictatorship”, responding in large numbers to the invitation of the collective ‘Gardons le sourire’ (‘Let’s stay with a smile’).
“Let us live. We want to choose how and when to implement the restrictions“, underlined the participants who marched and danced, masked but without a mask and in defiance of the distancing rules. According to them, one year after the first restrictions, it is no longer possible to continue living in” fear of the virus “. In the department In Haute-Savoie the incidence rate of the virus has increased by 60% in the last two weeks, with 289 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a positivity rate of 8%.