FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show French Farmers Protesting Vaccine Policies?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows French farmers using tractors to protest against government policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Verdict: False

The first two clips come from a farmers’ protest that took place in Belgium in 2015, years before the COVID-19 pandemic started. The third clip shows Norwegian farmers protesting the allocation of agricultural funding in May of this year.

Fact Check:

People have protested in cities across France on Saturdays for multiple consecutive weeks against the French government’s rule requiring special COVID-19 health passes to access venues such as bars, restaurants and malls, according to the Associated Press. The French government’s website states such passes must prove that the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, has received a negative test result in the past 48 hours or recovered from the disease.

The Facebook post claims in the caption that the 13-second video shows French farmers protesting against the French government’s COVID-19 vaccination policies, saying, “FRANCE: French farmers are helping us now to push back the vaccines pharma-fascistic illegal corrupted government for a free France and the Freedom of the people! WE ARE RESISTANCE! We push the pharma-fascists back!”

The 13-second video includes three short clips of farming vehicles in urban settings. In the first clip, tractors can be seen pushing a police vehicle backward. The second clip features a machine attached to a tractor spraying debris at police officers. Tractors drive down a street in the third clip.

In reality, none of the footage was filmed in France. The demonstrations depicted in the three clips also had nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccines or any other pandemic-related restrictions. (RELATED: Is Anthony Fauci’s Wife Involved In Approving COVID-19 Vaccines?)

Jacobo de Regoyos, a journalist with Spain’s Onda Cero radio station, tweeted a 30-second version of the first clip on Sept. 7, 2015, linking it to farmers protesting in Brussels, Belgium, that day. The Daily Mail included footage of what appears to be the same incident from a different angle in a Sept. 7, 2015, article about farmers in Brussels protesting in connection to food prices.

The Associated Press included a longer version of the second clip in a YouTube video that reported it showed farmers in Brussels on Sept. 7, 2015, demanding the European Union address milk prices going down. The title of the YouTube video reads, “Raw: Belgian Farmers Protest Low Milk Prices”

The third clip comes from footage the Norwegian newspaper VartOslo posted on YouTube on May 11, 2021. A building seen in it can be found in a Google Maps street view of Oslo’s Schweigaards gate. The caption of VartOslo’s video said it shows tractors driving on May 11 as part of a “#bondeopproret” protest.

The “#bondeopproret” protest was not a response to COVID-19 vaccination policies. Norwegian farmers involved drove their tractors to Oslo in protest in early May after the government failed to reach an acceptable agreement with them to allocate agricultural funding, the state-owned outlet NRK reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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