French police threaten truckers with jail time on eve of Canadian-style freedom convoy
Fines as high as €7,500 ($8,600) and even jail sentences of up to two years are listed among the sanctions. Shutterstock
Thu Feb 10, 2022 - 2:04 pm EST
PARIS (LifeSiteNews) — French police have threatened truckers and protestors who are gathering in convoys and making their way to Paris with heavy fines and jail sentences. They movement is inspired by the anti-lockdown, pro-freedom Canadian trucker convoy which brought Ottawa to a standstill.
The prefect of the Paris police issued a communiqué on Thursday prohibiting all “undeclared demonstrations,” as French truckers are planning to gather in Paris tomorrow, with a view to head to Belgium shortly thereafter.
Much like in Canada, French truckers are protesting the vaccine passport imposed in France since January, as well as other COVID restrictions.
The movement has gathered a lot of traction on social networks, particularly on Telegram where the group Convoy France already has more than 25,000 subscriptions.
On Facebook, the group “Le convoi de la liberté” (the freedom convoy) now has over 300,000 members, with 15,000 additional members from the group “les motards de la liberté” (the freedom bikers).
Several convoys departed from various locations in France over three consecutive days in order to meet in the French capital tomorrow. A map of the planned routes is available on Twitter.
In reaction to the movement, the French police has published a text detailing the penalties incurred for “blocking or disrupting road traffic” or for “organizing an illegal protest.” Fines as high as €7,500 euros ($8,600) and even jail sentences of up to two years are listed among the sanctions.
“Because of the potential disruptions to public order that this gathering could cause, the prefect of police is issuing a decree prohibiting such demonstrations from Friday, February 11, to Monday, February 14 included,” reads the communiqué posted on Twitter today by the prefecture of the Paris police.
The communiqué also states that the prefect “has asked his security forces to show great firmness with any offender.”
The Ottawa-inspired freedom convoy has sparked various reactions within the French political arena.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY HEADLINES
US Canada Catholic
“Of course, I understand them, it’s like the yellow vests protests,” said right-wing politician and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. “Savage globalization without regulations, or limitations imposed by leaders to protect populations, has turned our societies into time bombs ready to go off at the slightest event.”
Her sentiments were shared by far-left MP Adrien Quatennens who called for “the abrogation of the vaccine passport.”
“We have to put an end to all these freedom-destroying measures which are not efficient in managing the pandemic,” he said.
Right-wing MP Eric Ciotti, meanwhile, said he does not support the movement at all and called for strong firmness against the truckers “in order to avoid roadblocks and traffic paralysis.”
“I’ve always strongly opposed these movements,” said Ciotti. “I believe in science, I believe in progress, I believe in the vaccine; the vaccine has protected us, and I voted in favor of the vaccine passport.”
“I hear all around me messages which to me sound like complete conspiracy theories, and when I see politicians promoting these messages for electoral reason, I think it is criminal, outrageous and irresponsible,” he added.
The French truckers are due to arrive in Paris tomorrow. Unlike in Canada, however, not many truckers in France actually own their truck, which is why more cars and bikes are expected to be part of the convoy.