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Riots Between Youth and Police Worst in Years in France

Riots Between Youth and Police Worst in Years in France

Rioting in the northern French city of Amiens on Tuesday night left at least a million euros of damage with a nursery school, a community center and other buildings torched and cars set on fire. The violence left sixteen police officers injured from rocks, firebombs and buckshot and followed days of smaller clashes between youths who set dumpsters on fire and threw bottles and stones and police who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

French media said that the violence was sparked by a police check on a driver said to be driving dangerously near a spot where local residents were holding a memorial service for a 20-year-old who had died in a motorbike crash last Thursday. About 150 police officers clashed with about 100 youths from the housing estates in Amiens from 9:00 pm until 3:00am.

Last night’s riots were the worst in France since 2005, when the death of two teenagers set off weeks of looting and car-burning in housing estates across the country. While the violence in 2005 opened a debate about social exclusion and deprivation for those who live in the housing estates, including many youth of North African origin, analysts say that little has changed for them, says the BBC.

Hollande Says “Our Priority Is Security”

The northern neighborhood of Amiens is classed among the fifteen most troubled in France and is supposed to receive more policing next month under the plans of the government of Socialist President Francois Hollande. Hollande has vowed to restore order and has sent his interior minister, Manuel Valls, to Amiens, “to say there once again that the state will mobilize all its resources to combat this violence.”

The French president is in the last days of his vacation and spoke from a southern town where he was meeting the family of two policewomen killed in June. With public confidence in him falling after his first 100 days in office, Hollande is eager to show that he is tough on security, one of the “hallmarks” of his center-right predecessor, Nicholas Sarkozy. The right National Front party has seized on the Amiens rioting as a reason to blame insecurity in France to “massive immigration.”

Hollande had also come under criticism earlier this summer after Valls authorized the dismantling of Roma encampments. Sarkozy had authorized the same two summers ago, but on the grounds that the camps were illegal and were further evidence for why France cannot allow uncontrolled immigration.

Most of the Roma are from Bulgaria and Romania, countries which are not members of the the Schengen agreement that allows visa-free travel in Europe; they are allowed to stay for three months but must leave if they do not have education or work visas. Residents are given free plane travel back to their country of origin and about $370; many simply return. Last week, French police dismantled Roma camps near northern Lille.

 

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AP Photo/Georges Charrieres

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12 comments

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12:06AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

It is sad,

Look this up and petition and tell all your friends.
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9:16AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Honi soit que mal y pense.

8:12AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

I agree with you Jonathan Y ! Unfortunately,France's former colonial power has come back to bite them with a vengeance.France should never have given citizenship to Algerians and other former French colonial African countries because it was obvious that those people would flood into France for a better life.The last time I was there,I was appalled by the huge increase in numbers of Africans and Muslims,and most noticeable in the North,and even large areas of Paris.Many of these people do not get employment as the "ethnic white"French close ranks,so are disenfranchised and do not assimilate either.This is a guaranteed recipe for social strife and ethnic tension,and it is happening in many countries where floods of "refugees"have appeared.Instead of raping,pillaging and exploiting the countries from where these refugees have come,wealthy western countries and their vested interests corporations should be attempting to improve conditions in those poor countries so people stay there and work to improve their own backyards!The "globalisation"agenda for the world appears to include a borderless melting pot where there is no longer any separation or national sovereignty!?What an appalling thought!

5:29PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

The French have the understandable attitude: Who asked these people to come to here in the first place? The people in public housing in Amiens and other French cities are mostly North African, mostly Muslim immigrants who often come to France illegally. The French taxpayers provide them with public housing and some assistance. True, it's not enough but Europe and the world are in dire economic straits.

The French are very defensive of their culture and at times can be Islamophobic. However the immigrant youths are often very hostile and threatening with the French authorities, basically trying to hold them hostage to public opinion - burning up schools and property and daring them to take action. In this latest fracas, firearms were used against the police before they responded in force. Maybe the immigrants should be a little more grateful to have any public housing at all and not be living in the streets like the gypsies (Roma).

"Apres tout, il faut cultiver notre jardin." - Voltaire

5:33PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

good point Hartson D

12:21PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

Hugo Chavez has the support of the poor and the public. He uses popular initiatives and binding referendums and abides by the public's decisions.

10:29AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

actually no; ,the assassins are offering death... their god!

9:42AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

Were the plutocrats offering cake?!

4:36AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

This is a picture of where the US is headed: extreme government control, very few individual freedoms left, a god-less and faith-less nation. Look at their history. It really has not changed. Why we in the US wants to be like them is beyond me.

6:25PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

people are angry about the economy, nothing more is expected

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