Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
These images show the French police dispersing a packed lawn at the Invalides esplanade in Paris after droves of people gathered there without respecting social distancing, casting doubt on the country’s decision to ease its lockdown.
The incident took place at the Invalides, a recreational area in the heart of the French capital Paris, and the images show hordes of people hanging out on the lawn and basking in the sun.
Other pictures show the police dispersing the crowd, many of whom are not even wearing masks. The gathering of hundreds of people on the lawn of the Invalides is said to have been spontaneous.
Dozens of cops took part in dispersing the massive crowd. Police told local media that even if there were just lots of little groups of people, all together, they formed one big group. Local media noted that the distance of 1.5 metres was not being followed and that very few people were wearing masks.
According to French media, the police asked peacefully and the crowds dispersed peacefully. It is believed so many had gathered there because of the warm weather and because of the parks still being closed, despite the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, calling on the government to open them up again.
She said the government “remained deaf” to her requests, despite the CSMF, the primary doctors union, saying that the parks should be reopened to help with people’s “mental health.”
The incident has caused French media to speculate that the end of lockdown may not go as smoothly as the French government had planned.
It has also led to speculation that the lockdown could be implemented again, and that it would be hard to enforce during the summer.
French MP Eric Diard was outraged and slammed the government’s approach to ending lockdown, posting a photograph of the Invalides on Twitter, saying: “Is opening restaurants and cafes more dangerous than the thousands of people crowding the lawns of the Invalides?”
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.