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Fact-Check: Video does not show French police joining anti-vaxx rally

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A misleading video on social media has falsely claimed that French police have joined recent protests against COVID-19 restrictions.

Viral clips shared on Twitter claimed uniformed officers and put down their helmets and applauded those taking part in demonstrations.

Versions of the video were shared on Facebook and Twitter during protests in France against the mandatory vaccine passport for healthcare workers and for visiting facilities.

One of the clips had been viewed more than 37,000 times on Twitter and shared 1,400 times.

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But the videos have been uploaded without context, and were actually filmed in June 2020 as opposed to last week.

Euronews found an identical video had been uploaded by multiple French broadcasters last summer, including by La Chaîne Info.

In 2020, French healthcare workers organised nationwide demonstrations during the pandemic, and they were appluaded by police officers in Nîmes and Lille.

But videos from the rallies have been re-shared online, misleading users to think that French police have also applauded demonstrations against new anti-coronavirus measures.

In recent weeks, several countries across Europe have witnessed significant protests against the decision to expand health passes.

Earlier this month, France moved to restrict restaurants, cafes and shopping centres to those that have been vaccinated or who have recently tested negative for COVID-19.

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Soon after the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron, more than one million people booked appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in a record-breaking sixteen hours.

But critics say the measures trample on freedoms and discriminate against those who do not want to be vaccinated.


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