FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Water Cannons Being Used On French Citizens Protesting ‘Mandatory COVID Vaccinations’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows a crowd of French citizens who were protesting “President Macron’s plan for mandatory COVID vaccinations” being dispersed with water cannons.

Verdict: False

The video shows a protest in Kenya, not France.

Fact Check:

The 31-second video shows an aerial view of people running in different directions on a street as two vehicles shoot water cannons at them. The caption of the video reads, “Resistance begins to mount against President Macron’s plan for mandatory COVID vaccinations of all French citizens.” (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Kenyans In Nairobi Protesting In Solidarity With Nigerians In June 2021?)

That description of the video, however, is inaccurate. A keyword search of terms associated with the video turned up several YouTube videos showing the same footage, all of which indicate it actually shows a protest at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Several landmarks in the video match those visible in a Google Maps street view of University Way, confirming the incident occurred near the University of Nairobi.

Kenyan riot police have used water cannons and tear gas on multiple occasions in recent years to disperse protests in Nairobi, and it is unclear which exact demonstration the video shows. Last week, Kenyan riot police used tear gas against University of Nairobi students who were protesting the university’s decision to raise tuition fees, according to AFP.

During a recent televised speech, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, vaccines would become mandatory for health care workers by September 15, according to France24. He has not mandated COVID-19 vaccines for all French citizens at the time of publication.

The French president announced in the same address that starting in August, anyone who wants to go to certain venues such as restaurants, bars and malls must have a special “health pass” documenting they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, recently tested negative for the virus or recovered from it, according to NPR. The announced rules prompted protests in parts of France, according to Reuters.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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