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Covid pass protesters attack French MP Stéphane Claireaux with seaweed

Image source, Getty Images

A French MP has been attacked by a crowd of Covid-19 pass protesters outside his home in the overseas territory of St Pierre and Miquelon.

Video showed Stéphane Claireaux being pelted with seaweed and other missiles on Sunday.

He likened the attack to a “stoning” and said he would file criminal charges against those responsible.


The MP is from the ruling party of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said the incident was “intolerable”.

The attack came a few days before the introduction of France’s health pass in St Pierre and Miquelon, two islands near Canada’s Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.

The measure has long been in effect on the French mainland, where people are required to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to access many public venues.

Local media said about 500 opponents of the passes gathered for a protest in St Pierre and in Miquelon, where Covid infections are rising.

A group of those protesters descended on Mr Claireaux’s home.

“I was waiting for the demonstrators in order to speak to them,” he told the franceinfo news website. “There was a car loaded with seaweed, and people started throwing it at my face. It was like a stoning.”

France’s overseas minister, Annick Girardin, denounced the attackers and called for them to be prosecuted. She posted footage of the incident on Twitter, calling it “deeply shocking”.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

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Her views were echoed by President Macron who, during a visit to the southern city of Nice on Monday, lamented “an intensification of violence” against elected officials.

In recent weeks, other local officials have been attacked, while some French MPs have reported deaths threats over their support for a vaccine pass.

Christophe Castaner, leader of Mr Macron’s party in parliament, told France Inter radio there had been 322 threats against MPs in 2021.

But last week, Mr Macron was accused of stoking tensions by using a slang term to say he wanted to make life difficult for unvaccinated people.

Those comments provoked anger at a time when French MPs were seeking to pass a law that would bar the unvaccinated from much of public life.

The bill, which has been passed by France’s lower house of parliament, would remove the option of showing a negative Covid test to gain access to many public spaces.

The government is aiming to bring the vaccine pass into force in mid-January, once it has been approved by the Senate, which could delay the process.


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