August 10, 2021, Editorial of the Workplace Newsletters of the Etincelle fraction of the NPA, Translated from French
For the fourth week in a row more than 240,000 demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the health pass. Even to the Ministry of the Interior tells us the mobilizations are growing. However, the government is taking great pains to denounce the “anti-vaxxers” (who are far from representing the totality of the demonstrators) and to provide the public with some “education.” These last few days, while on vacation in the sun, Macron put on his best teacherly airs with his TikTok videos on the health pass, to debunk “false information, and false rumors.” As if, since the beginning of the pandemic, the government had not repeatedly flooded the country with false information. Whether it was first to deny the seriousness of the coronavirus, or regarding the lack of resources in hospitals, and the shortages of masks or vaccines. Of course, we can only regret that many workers’ legitimate distrust of Macron has extended to the issue of vaccination. But the occupant of the Élysée Palace (French White House) and his courtiers share the responsibility.
The Beta Variant strikes
While the Delta variant from India has been flaring up around the world for months, Macron is continuing to pretend he is the chief epidemiologist. His Minister of Health has even promised to achieve a 90 percent vaccination rate by the fall, a stage he says would guarantee “collective immunity,” and the eradication of COVID-19 within national borders. A lie. Even if such a project were feasible, which is more than doubtful, the epidemic would continue elsewhere. New variants, already surfacing in the many low-income countries where vaccination is non-existent, will inevitably return to France.
Despite Macron’s grand declarations that vaccines should be a “global good of humanity, and not the property of these or those people,” there has been no move to lift big pharmaceutical patents. Their profits are still more important than our lives. This is clear when pharmaceutical labs use new variants of the virus to justify a vaccine dose price increase! In the last few days BioNTech renegotiated a price increase of its Pfizer vaccines from 15.50 euros to 19.50 with a total lack of transparency.
Rejecting health scapegoats
Moreover, even in rich countries like Israel and Iceland, where vaccination rates are among the highest in the world, partial lockdowns were put in place as the pandemic resurged.
We are dealing with a pandemic, which means this is on a global scale. The eradication of the virus and its multiple variants can only be achieved at the scale of the world. The indifference of rich countries towards poor countries is criminal.
So no doubt Macron is pleased to clear his record with French border by turning those who refuse to be vaccinated into scapegoats, starting with the healthcare workers and other “first responders,” the very ones he hypocritically thanked at the end of his first term in office. However, they are not the ones responsible for the decay of the public hospital system, or the death of thousands of people due to lack of personal protective equipment!
Facing Macron’s hocus pocus passes
In recent months, tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs to ensure that shareholders receive their insane dividends. The “health pass” law allows for new grounds for layoffs and salary “suspension.” It’s a new weapon for the bosses to attack workers who might have made the error of projecting their hate of Macron onto vaccines. At the same time, the government is preparing to reactivate its pension and unemployment insurance reforms.
Let us stand against all these anti-social measures, and make our own demands heard and imposed.