FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show People In France Protesting ‘Lockdown Tyranny’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook and Twitter purportedly shows protesters in France rejecting “lockdown tyranny.”

Verdict: False

The image shows a yellow vest protest that occurred in 2018, well before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Fact Check: 

In recent days, Facebook and Twitter users have been sharing a photo of people seemingly protesting in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, claiming it shows a demonstration against “lockdown tyranny.” One iteration on Twitter has garnered over 7,000 likes to date.

Amid spread of the Delta variant in the country, France recently announced that only those who have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 will be permitted in certain venues such as restaurants, bars, malls, trains and theaters starting in August, The Wall Street Journal reported. Those announced COVID-19 restrictions prompted protests in several French cities, according to EuroNews.

Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact discovered the photo predates the COVID-19 pandemic. The Daily Mail published the picture, credited to photographer Olivier Coret, in a November 2018 article about yellow vest protests in France. The yellow vest protests, named after the safety jackets worn by many demonstrators, came after French President Emmanuel Macron announced a green tax on diesel fuel in late 2018, according to NPR.

The photo in question can also be found on Divergence Images, where it is attributed to Coret and described as showing a “demonstration of the Yellow Vests on the Champs-Elysees, Paris on November 24, 2018,” according to a Google translation. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show An Anti-Communist Protest In Cuba?)

In addition to protesting the diesel fuel green tax, the yellow vest protesters also called for things such as an increase in minimum wage, NPR reported. In early December 2018, the French government scrapped the added green tax on fuel before it was supposed to go into effect, according to the Associated Press.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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