Tuesday, November 08, 2005


"I don't support the riots," said one teenager. "But the people are enraged." A State of Emergency in the Grande Nation

From Der Spiegel "The violence just won't stop. Monday night saw the 12th night in a row of rioting, arson attacks and stone throwing as bands of suburban youth set alight some 1,170 cars in 226 municipalities across France. In addition, a nursery school was torched in the northern French town of Lille-Fives, a junior high school was set on fire in the Paris suburb of Sevran and youths threw gasoline bombs at a hospital in another Paris suburb. Rioters in the southern French city of Toulouse stopped a bus, ordered the passengers to disembark, and set it on fire. A total of 330 people were arrested on Monday night.

Still, despite the staggering violence, officials have managed to find the silver lining in Monday night's dark cloud. For the first time since the riots started on Oct. 27 -- after two Nothern African teens died while apparently trying to hide from the police in an electricity substation in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois -- the amount of violence seems to have gone down. On Sunday night, 300 towns had reported violence and over 1,400 cars were torched. There was also a reduction in the number of attacks on public buildings on Monday night and fewer clashes between rioters and police were reported." more

From Der Spiegel Rage in Blanc-Mesnil

"The parking lot in front of the commuter train station in the Parisian suburb Blanc-Mesnil presents a rather bizarre image. Among the dozens of cars -- parked here by commuters every morning before they jump on the train that will zip them into the center of the French capital -- there are also a number of burned out shells. The flames have left little more than a black skeleton. Everything else -- plastic parts, seats, tires, everything not made of metal -- has been melted beyond recognition or completely burned away." more

And from Democracy Now

Urban Unrest Escalates in France as Riots Continue for 11th Straight Night "Well, as you say, there was an incident in which two young boys of immigrant descent in Clichy-sous-Bois were coming home from a football match they had been playing, and it seems that they spotted a police patrol. They were afraid of one of the identity checks the police go in for heavily in these districts, and everybody scampered, fled. Two of the boys -- three of the boys hid in a substation. One was very badly injured. Two were killed. And the rumor spread that they had been chased into that substation by the police, the implication being, deliberately chased in, and that sparked the riot.

I think what that speaks to -- although the preliminary reports suggest that they weren't being chased at the time, but the fact that they climbed over a six-foot barbed wire wall to hide from police speaks volumes about the state of relations between young immigrant-origin youth and police in these sorts of places and also, generally, about how difficult it is to live in these quarters." more


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