A crowd of anti-sanitary protesters in the French archipelago of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon assaulted their local deputy Stéphane Claireaux on Sunday, throwing seaweed and stones at him as he stood in front of his house.
The 1st public broadcaster reported that 600 opponents of the proposed health restrictions demonstrated in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, two small islands south of Newfoundland in Canada where around 6,000 French people live. A few dozen demonstrators went to Claireaux’s home.
“It looked like stoning,” Claireaux said in an interview with franceinfo. “Everyone knows each other in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, and you have in front of you people whom you know but whose faces are so distorted by hatred that you no longer recognize them. It’s surreal.
Crowds protested against new regulations imposing the health pass on the archipelago following an upsurge in COVID cases, as well as a bill passed Thursday by the French National Assembly that would require proof of vaccination or recovery to access restaurants, bars, cultural venues or long-distance public transport. The bill is yet to be passed by the Senate this week.
Claireaux did not participate in the vote last Thursday but is a member of Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche party. The French president promised to “piss off” the unvaccinated in an interview last Tuesday, exasperating opponents of his government’s health measures.
Minister of the Sea and former MP for Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon Annick Girardin tweeted a video of the assault, calling it “deeply shocking”. An investigation was opened by the local police.
Other local officials have been threatened or attacked in France recently. Last Tuesday, the director of the Guadeloupe hospital Gérard Cotellon was locked in his office for hours by demonstrators and was repeatedly beaten while being escorted by the police, reported the 1st.
Dozens of MPs have filed complaints after receiving death threats related to their position on COVID-19 restrictions, National Assembly Speaker Richard Ferrand noted in December.