More than a thousand demonstrators strolled, this Saturday, January 22, in the anti-pass procession deposited by the collective “Lyon pour la Liberté”. Away from the Presqu’île by a prefectural decree, the demonstrators wandered in the sixth arrondissement. Reporting.
Tricolor flags, sometimes with a cross of Lorraine or a Vendée heart and a banner “people like us never give up”, at the top. This is the recipe for the processions of the Lyon pour la Liberté collective, which manifests itself every Saturday against the health pass, in its own name, in the streets of Lyon since the end of October.
At the time, the demonstrations declared by the collective and its leader Thibault Pillet, 24, struggled to bring together more than a few hundred people. But since January 8, while the debate on the vaccine pass agitates the National Assembly, the Lyon anti-pass procession is picking up the hair of the beast.
Without reaching the level of the mobilizations of the summer, Lyon for Freedom brought together respectively 2000 and 1500 people in demonstration during Saturday January 8 and 15, according to the prefecture, and approximately 4000 people according to the organizers.
This Saturday, January 22, there are a thousand according to the prefecture and 3800 according to Thibault Pillet.
Several anti-pass demonstrations in Lyon
If, today, the anti-pass demonstration organized by Lyon for freedom is the biggest, this has not always been the case. The collective that historically organized these demonstrations was the collective “Contre la Coronafolie”, close to Florian Philippot. He finally got outdated by Lyon pour la Liberté, as we told them in this article. On January 22, this collective also endowed but did not bring together more than ten people.
Anti-pass demonstrations organized by leftist collectives and yellow vests collectives also existed in Lyon. They also took on new colors at the start of the year, bringing together several hundred people on January 8.
A prohibited demonstration of Presqu’île
For the young man, if the anti-pass movement is stopped in its tracks, it is the fault of the Rhône prefecture. This weekend, it banned demonstrations on a large part of the Peninsula: between Place des Terreaux and Place Carnot, as well as in part of Old Lyon.
Or, in recent weeks, the procession of Lyon for Freedom has taken the habit of strolling from 2 p.m. from Place Bellecour, resuming the traditional meeting of the Yellow Vests.
“This place gave us good visibility. Our bother Macron and the French are beginning to realize this. They join us. That’s why the prefecture made us invisible, ”denounces Thibault Pillet.
If we rely on the decree prohibition to demonstrate published by the prefecture, it is the potentiality of an undeclared demonstration of yellow vests on Place Bellecour which led to the determination of a prohibition perimeter. Not at all the demonstration of Lyon for Freedom.
“About fifty people prevented thousands from demonstrating,” continues the leader of the anti-pass. This January 22, its demonstration is therefore taking place between the Place du Maréchal Lyautey and the Parvis Renée Richard in the Part-Dieu district.
“The most macronist district of Lyon”
As the demonstration of the day starts, the microphone retained:
“We are in the 6th arrondissement, it is the most macronist arrondissement in Lyon”.
“The most macronist district of Lyon” ?
The 6th arrondissement is actually not the most macronist arrondissement in Lyon. Even if Emmanuel Macron made a score of plus 30% in the first round of the 2017 presidential elections, he scored better in other districts. On the other hand, the 6th is undoubtedly the most fillonist district of the city. The LR candidate scored more than 40% there at the time.
And the crowd to throw in the heart the new slogan of anti-sanitary passes: “Macron, Macron, you’re bored”, in reference to the small sentence pronounced by the Head of State in a interview given to the Parisian: “I really want to annoy the unvaccinated”.
Demonstrating in the 6th arrondissement is not really new for the Lyon pour la Liberté collective since its demonstrations have sometimes started in the Place des Brotteaux. As a real room driver, Thibault Pillet gives voice throughout the procession. Slogans like “Freedom, Freedom”, “We don’t want the vaccination pass”, are widely taken up and resound in the narrow rue Pierre Corneille, empty of passers-by.
In Lyon, anti-pass and anti-vaccine demonstration
Much more than an anti-pass protest, today’s event is also broadly anti-vaccine and anti-media. Conspiracy theories are promoted, especially that of “Great Reset“. A theory which considers that the Covid-19 is an opportunity to impose a new world order.
The rejection of the vaccine is clearly chanted in the street and slogans: “TV, radio, collaborators”, repeated loudly. On the course, a manifesto distributes a leaflet advising to treat the Covid with essential oils or chlorine dioxide. On the back, it is advisable to no longer get information from TV but from media such as the far-right website tvlibertés or the conspiratorial site reinfocovid.fr.
Finally, the dynamism of the event also benefits from the presence of a certain number of young people, which does not escape an older manifesto. “The youth is in the street,” she rejoices.
Young people led by a far-right union
The young people, whose presence enthuses this manifesto, are not just any young people. Distinction separated from the rest of the demonstration by a banner “health dictatorship, refractory youth” a procession appears particularly lively. It is that of the Lyon Student Cockade.
This far-right student union, particularly close to Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, claims to fight “cultural leftism” in universities and prides itself on being the only student organization to be involved in the anti-pass fight.
At the megaphone, we find Shinisha Uros, young candidate in the Crous elections for the Lyon student badge. Placed in front of the banner, he animates a group of about twenty people with a lot of slogans and smoke bombs.
Other groups of young people are particularly noteworthy. Unlike a large number of demonstrators, they wear surgical masks, neck warmers, even for some – rarer – balaclavas. They constitute the official order service of the demonstration and patrol the sidewalks, while the demonstrators monopolize the road, watching for potential attackers at every street corner.
As we explained in previous articles, members of the resolute far-right organization Génération Identitaire or Civitas have already been seen in the anti-pass demonstrations in Lyon. However, it is not rare to see the militants of these organizations ensuring the service of order of certain demonstrations, in particular those against the PMA for all, and probable that they also constitute that of Lyon for Freedom.
The previous week, in Paris, hundreds of far-right activists took the lead in the anti-pass demonstration organized by Florian Philippot and are suspected of having carried out Nazi salutes.
Asked about the presence of the far right in the anti-pass demonstration, the organizer, Thibault Pillet, is categorical:
“We are not concerned with this, you will not see outstretched hands in our processions.”