Viewpoint. The town of Yutz (17,000 inhabitants) in Moselle, France, was not spared by the rioters: McDonald’s burned down, the car garage ransacked, cars and garbage cans burned! How did it come to this, asks Bernard Aubin?
By Bernard Aubin
As elsewhere in France, rioters were on the rampage in Moselle. A police station was attacked in Hagondange, police premises suffered the same fate in Maizières-lès-Metz, seven municipal vehicles were burned and a school hall set on fire in Talange, shops were looted in Woippy, local town halls were set on fire in Metz, and the one in Fameck was ransacked, seven buses set on fire in Moyeuvre-Grande and three in Piennes, the Metz-Borny media library set on fire, an apartment set on fire by mortar fire and the brand-new footbridge that is the pride of our neighbors in Thionville vandalized: this time, the thieves didn’t just ransack France’s major cities, they acted right on our doorstep, and even in Yutz, which was hard hit by the damage.
France, a social powder keg
When Emmanuel Macron was determined to push through his pension reform, we were already sounding the alarm. We warned against the executive’s propensity to play with fire in the social powder keg that France had become.
We warned that if the demonstrators’ anger were to spread to the “banlieues” and to a growing population that challenges our rules and values, a chain reaction could very quickly lead to an uncontrollable situation.
Well, this social explosion didn’t happen with the reform. It was the death of a young man who refused to obey a police checkpoint that finally ignited the fuse.
The ingredients for an explosive cocktail had long been in place. All that was missing was the spark, in one form or another. And here we are.
Get the cars and garbage cans inside! In the end, Yutz was not spared!
A message from the City of Yutz alerted us yesterday evening on “Neighbours Vigilants”: given the context, please put your cars in the garage and don’t leave your garbage cans on the public highway! In fact, on Rue du Vieux Bourg, some vehicles did not escape the flames! The same goes for the Terrasses de Provinces (Cofimeg) district. The nearby Suzuki garage and its vehicles were also vandalized, as was a public space. The Yussois McDonald’s also caught fire.
The origins of evil
We won’t dwell on what we consider to be the origins of the evil. All the more so as they have long been known to a section of the population and to generations of politicians of all stripes, who have favored the head-in-the-sand approach and the bobo-attitude over the courage essential to intelligent problem-solving.
Today, we can see the results of the “benevolence” and “tolerance” that could only lead to the intolerable situation we are experiencing today.
We are (almost) all responsible for this situation
When Emmanuel Macron appeals to parents’ sense of responsibility, it’s clear that the very foundations of our society have been undermined. After all, it all starts with education. Child kings, children left to their own devices, the impact of broken and blended families, babies sent to nurseries almost the day after birth, poor and disadvantaged backgrounds, social inequalities, parents deprived of an education who can’t pass on what they’ve never had, the systematic contestation of rules, constraints, landmarks, history and values, the “benevolence” of schooling that encourages laziness, erodes culture and free will, and systematically undermines the foundations of liberty, equality and fraternity… Before looking any further for the origins of society’s woes, we should identify the causes at their very roots.
“Sommes-nous plus heureux depuis qu’il est interdit d’interdire”? This was the title of an article we published a few weeks ago. Today, it takes on its full meaning. Before casting anathema on others, on “society” in general, on this or that category of French people, on elected representatives, let’s have the courage to start by facing up to our own daily responsibilities as citizens and parents. Some do it very well, others less and less so. But that’s where it all starts.