french protests

Protests Intensify Across Europe as Amidst Forced Vaccination Plans.

European governments are trying to force the unvaccinated out of public life. Ordinary people are fighting back.


This weekend, tens of thousands of European citizens protested against government-enforced COVID-19 restrictions, the so-called “Green Pass,” and mandatory vaccination policies. The measures are now conditions for participating in social life, work, and education in a number of European nations.

Austrian citizens have seen some of the most totalitarian measures in the world, with the government announcing mandatory vaccinations. Citizens have until February to voluntarily get the injections. If they fail to comply, they will be fined around $700 USD every three months.

Austria has also been in another 20-day unvaccinated lockdown which concludes after December 13th. At the same time, the government announced vaccination certificate validity will be reduced from 12 to just nine months.

One week after declaring lockdowns for the unvaccinated, the government announced a 20-day general lockdown. The measure was rationalized due to the shortages of the hospital beds.

For three weekends, about 40,000 weekly protestors have participated in the anti-mandate protests in the city of Vienna. Furthermore, 30,000 protested in Graz, the second largest city in the country. Other demonstrations have taken place in Linz, Salzburg, and St.Pölten.

Videos from Vienna:


In Germany, the newly-elected coalition government has been promoting vaccine mandates. Currently, those who work at care facilities and clinics will be forced to get vaccinated by March 2022. Military personnel are also being forced to get the injections.

Germany has implemented one of the strictest 3G/2G rules (which stands for “Genesen”(Recovered), “Geimpft”(Vaccinated) or “Getestet”(Negative Tested), or 2G, which excludes “Tested” status) across the EU countries. Most German states restrict people from public places if they cannot show 3G/2G status. This means they are prohibited from attending restaurants and bars, taking trains and other public transportation, visiting Christmas Markets and more.

The newly-elected government has been blaming the Omicron variant for its authoritarian measures, and views forced vaccination and booster shots the only way forward. Thousands have participated protests across Germany in the past weeks – From Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin to Munich.


Belgium has been increasingly targeting children. Under new measures a school class must go into a quarantine if two cases of COVID have been detected in students.

Belgium has also seen surge in protest numbers throughout the country, with a record of 35,000 in the last weeks of November. Protests have continued in the capital, Brussels. Groups of off-duty firefighters have marched against the vaccine mandate for firefighters – eventually marching in front of the office of the Minister of Health.



For the second week in a row, protestors In Barcelona marched against the health pass requirements.

In total, six regions in Spain are mandating “health passports” on their population: Galicia, Navarre, Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, and Murcia. In restaurants, bars, coffee shops, entertainment venues, hospitals, nursing homes, people must use the government-mandated app to participate in public life.



In Slovenia, protesters marched against new pandemic laws. Rallies commemorating the velvet revolutions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia turned into anti-COVID demonstrations.

Italy also had large protests after the government started to crackdown on the unvaccinated population and forced the use of the electronic “Green Pass” for public transport. France has also seen its fair share of large protests in the past few weeks.

Individually, most of these countries claim to have reached a 70 percent vaccination rate, whereas the EU claims to have reached 80 percent+ among the adult population. The goalposts in many European countries have changed throughout the pandemic – initially starting with 60 percent vaccination rate to go “back to normal” – the EU reached 70 percent full vaccination in the summer of 2021 and did not reopen as planned.

Wahagen Khabayan

Wahagen Khabayan is a National Pulse Writing Fellow based in Austria.

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