Saturday, November 12, 2005

On the French Front (Saturday morning) - Paris on Edge.

UPDATE Saturday morning : Last night, while the violence in the Paris suburbs decreased, the number of cars torched throughout the country increased slightly (500 cars nationwide vs. 463 the night before).
It is worth noting that there are almost always cars burning but even most French people don't know that. It always affects the poor neighborhoods which are quite remote from the city centers, even there it is highly localized. It does not effect the economy and has virutally no impact on the vast middle class . In France, you just hear about the cars burning on New Year Eve, particularly in Alsace (eastern France) where it has been trated as a sad local tradition.
At least half of the youths committing arsons are under 18 and sometimes as young as 12 or 13. Their violence is neither a religious nor a political statement. It is a social phenomenon that has not been addressed soon enough.
As you can imagine though, the issue is now being addressed in the media through discussions with politicians, intellectuals and celebrities on the subjects ranging from police behavior to racial discrimination, unemployment and educational inequalities.

It is also worth noting that the authorities are still on edge and this week-end is likely to be a test. There have been calls on blogs, and text messages to gather in downtown Paris (particularly on Les Champs-Elysés) and committ violent acts on Saturday, as you can read here:
The police authority has banned all public gatherings likely to provoke a disturbance in the capital from 10 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday. "Messages sent over the past few days via the Internet and text messages have called for gatherings and violent acts in Paris on November 12," a police statement said. "To enforce the ban, the police and gendarmes already deployed in the capital will be considerably reinforced, and reminded of their instructions to arrest troublemakers.
This is clearly making the news, so in case, the wanna-be rioters did not know, now they do. I guess we'll know more in the next few hours...
MORE UPDATE : A firebomb was thrown into a mosque in the south of France, (Aljazeera also reports) - minor damage and no one was hurt... but sill....


At 16:02, Blogger Mauro de Araújo said...

I link your site, and made some references of it in my blog:
That's ok?
Thank you for the good texts.

( I'm Brazilian) Mauro de Araújo

At 22:55, Blogger Joker & Thief said...

Hey great... Thank you. I paid you a visit but unfortunately, I don't know portuguese. I wish I did. Your blog looks very interesting.
Come back and don't hesitate to leave comments.
See you Mauro,
The Joker & The Thief,


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