40,000 gendarmes and police officers, the RAID, the BRI and the GIGN were unable to prevent rioters from ransacking numerous French towns for the third night running. The executive has reached an impasse.
The toll from Thursday night to Friday was very high. Hundreds of cars burnt (74 in Strasbourg, 48 in Moselle), streetcars and buses set on fire, public buildings – town halls, police stations, schools, high schools, media libraries, banks, etc. – set on fire, hundreds of stores looted: the violence has escalated in many French cities, and there’s no sign of things calming down. Quite the contrary, in fact. Here and there, young people were seen with weapons of war. Worrying!
The toll was also heavy on the forces of law and order, with 249 policemen and gendarmes injured. And 667 rioters were arrested.
How to calm things down?
The starting point of the riots was the death of 17-year-old Nahel, killed by police fire. Driving a large German sedan, the young man refused to obey the police at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine). Immediately, several Paris-area neighborhoods went up in flames. The white march organized on Thursday degenerated into clashes with the police.
Then young people (sometimes as young as 13 or 14) in neighborhoods across France went on the rampage, attacking public and private buildings.
How to calm things down? The government has reached an impasse. It can either crack down hard on the riots, at the risk of fuelling further violence. Or it can stall and let the anger run its course for a couple of days, at the risk of upsetting part of the population.
His room for manoeuvre is narrow. But the answer is political. How can we avoid the communitarianism that is developing in the neighborhoods of every city, from the smallest to the largest?
The Americanization of French society
In any case, what’s happening in France today bears witness to a yawning fracture in French society resulting from years of failure to integrate immigrant populations. Communities are developing on the bangs of French society, with their own language, their own culture, their own religion, their own heralds. As in the United States, where whites, blacks and Latinos live side by side, not with each other.
And, as in the USA, people buy guns and join shooting clubs to defend themselves. As in the good old days of the Wild West.
Is this what we want in France?
In any case, with just one year to go before the opening of the Olympic Games, events linked to violence are cause for concern.
Et les JO dans tout ça ? 😰 https://t.co/Va6Bs7hkkq
— Régis Le Sommier (@LeSommierRgis) June 30, 2023
Nous sommes en guerre… les uns contre les autres! Stop. Les responsables se sont nos politiques ! https://t.co/aURklQlPt4
— Myriam Palomba (@myriampalomba) June 30, 2023
— Namanite (@Namanite) June 29, 2023