People in France have shown their support for a restaurateur who declared his eatery a ‘free zone’ in response to the government’s vaccine passports mandate for restaurant and bar entry amid widespread protests.
With the government set to require all people to how their Covid-19 health passport when entering bars and restaurants from the beginning of August, some in France have started their own campaign to rebel against what they described as the state’s “health dictatorship.”
The Twitter account ‘Zone Libre’ or ‘Free Zone’ is encouraging restaurateurs to display a sign rejecting the health pass mandate by President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
Zone Libre devient le slogan des opposants à la dictature sanitaire.#zonelibre#NonAuPassDeLaHontepic.twitter.com/F5isISqsPE
The tweet reads: “Zone Libre becomes the slogan of opponents of the health dictatorship,” adding the hashtag “Zone Libre” and “No to the Shame Pass.”
The tweet is accompanied by an image of a sign that reads: “Here, we respect your freedom, your dignity and medical secrets.” The message on the outside of the sign says “All welcome, with or without a health pass.”
While the account itself hasn’t received much attention, a video of chef Michel Le Menn sticking the sign to the facade of his eatery has been widely shared across social media. The restaurant, ‘Le Coup de Fourchette’ is reportedly located in Brest, a port town in Brittany.
Brest ! #manifs24juillet#Liberte Bravo a ce restaurateur ! pic.twitter.com/aKkTmDlRp5
In the footage, people can be seen photographing the ‘Zone Libre’ sign while the crowd chants “Liberte” or “Freedom.”
Sharing the video, one person wrote: “resistance starts like this, respect Sir.”
“All restaurateurs must do the same, if he is the only one to do it the state will crush him with all its weight to make an example,” one person wrote.
The term itself is rather controversial, as the ‘Zone Libre’ was also the name for the area of France controlled by the Vichy government of Marshal Philippe Petain during World War II. The short-lived state was notoriously anti-Semitic.
On Monday, the French government passed into law a bill forcing vaccination for medical workers and greater use of the controversial health pass. The government had previously stated its intention to make compulsory the use of the health pass for access to bars and restaurants from August; the passes are already required for places like museums and swimming pools.
The health pass, which can be displayed on an app or printed out, shows whether the individual has either been vaccinated or provided a negative test.
Macron’s government has seen widespread opposition to the pass, with 160,000 people protesting across the country on Saturday. Demonstrators chanted “Freedom, Freedom” as they marched around French towns and cities.
If you like this story, share it with a friend!