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La Haine Est Dans La Rue

category international | crime and justice | feature author Sunday November 06, 2005 18:21author by Joe C - UNite Workers Union, Workers Charter Movement Report this post to the editors

Some Personal Thoughts On The French Autumn Intifada

This text was originally posted on Aotearoa IMC

I was one of the co ordinators of the Irish mobilisation to the Second European Social Forum which was held in Paris two years ago, to the day. We had over a hundred people come from Ireland, and it was my job to head over early and co-ordinate accomodation with the ESF organisers there, as well as get the lie of the land and find out where everything was happening...

Imagine the shock when most people coming to the ESF discovered that a lot of the sessions were happening thirty or forty kilometres out from what most of us consider Paris, that beautiful walled medieval city of the Commune, May 68 and the Revolution. I spent the first day going from Bobigny (end of the line) to St Denis, and the hidden Paris of the ghetto-suburbs blew me away. Looking back on it now, the French ESF organisers probably opened Europe's eyes to the hidden reality of 21st century Paris. At the time we thought it was stupid to spend half the day travelling, but now I think it might have been a stroke of genius...

Mile after mile of desolate estate- high rise ghettoes reaching out to the horizon. The train stations were all covered with New York style hip hop grafitti, and when I got off at the second last stop (St Denis-Porte de Paris) I got a real shock. It was Bastille Day, when France celebrates its revolution, and in the middle of this concrete urban bunker that doubled as the town's main square, a bunch of old (white) army veterans were holding up French Tricolour banners gilded in gold with the names of their legions and the battles they had fought inscribed on it. This did not look to me like a progressive bunch of Communards or Sans Culottes. Maybe some of these guys had seen action in Algeria with Le Pen's torturing paratroopers.

Around them were clusters of African and Arab kids, shouting out the names of towns and cities these old men had probably killed people in. Bwtween the two groups were a cohort of fully tooled up CRS riot police, with body armour, alsatian dogs, tear gas weapons that looked like sawn off shotguns, and huge paddy wagons with armour plating on them. To me it looked like some version of the Orange Order insisting on their right to march provocatively in Derry, aided by their RUC racist police cousins... I remembered the Bob Marley song at the beginning of the cinema verite intro to the film La Haine, with his words "they were dressed in uniforms of brutality" echoing over a montage of riots in Paris.

We went on to meet a lot of the French and European left that week, with these suburbs as an ever hissing background. We crossed a bridge in one suburb where the CRS had massacred hundreds of Arabs in Paris when they attacked a solidarity march during the height of the Algerian War. We stayed with most of the North of Ireland crew in a gym in the old Jewish quarter of Villejuif, which was cleared of most of its Jewish citizens by the Nazis and the Vichy, and was now a bustling Arab section. It had been a stronghold of the French COmmunist Party, the PCF, and in a nice touch of Gallic solidarity, the old Communist mayor came round one morning and cooked a hundred of us an unbelievable French breakfast! (I'd date the revival of the French left from there!)

Solidarity with their North of Irish comrades, no problem. But what struck me most about the French left was their lack of contacts with the Arab and African ghettoes of Paris and beyond. A group of us North of Irelanders went out to an Arab cafe one night, and I'm nearly sure we were the first caucasian group EVER inside! In our broken French we talked about the ESF- most of them had not heard about it. But they were amazed to learn that we were against the war, supported the resistance in Iraq and Palestine, hated the Front National and defended the right for Muslims to wear the hijab. We left that Arab cafe late that morning with a lot of new friends! Many of them will have been out fighting this week.

I am disapponted to see that the resurgent French radical left, that has been kicking neo-liberal ass with the defeat of the EU Constitiution and the nearly monthly mass strikes, is nowhere to be seen defending the kids of the banluies. If there was a similar uprising here in South Auckland, I have every confidence in the radical workers movement in Aotearoa that we would defend the kids here. The problems are the same in the Worlds big cities- poor working class youth, often immigrant and multicultural, lies fuming, festering, and forgotten in huge sprawling ghettoes miles away from Sky or Eiffel Towers...

The French radical left needs to engage with Arab and black French youth. Supporting the government's crackdown on the hijab was disgusting, and revolutionaries should really know better.

There is now an uprising, an intifada, in urban France. le Pen's fascists have been along to some of the so called "peace marches", wearing tricolour sashes and talking about the need to clear the ghettoes of "scum". In the weeks to come, the French radical left has a major part to play. Will they end up like the old CP in May 68- condemning the students whose bravery fighting the CRS led three weeks later to Western Europe's closest shot to a socialist revolution, with over 1o million on strike? Much better if they'd play the role of the students...

(In Auckland we're having a screening of La Haine, follwed by a discussion. The film tells the story of three unemployed working class kids, one jewish, one black and one arab, and how they try to survive in the huge desolate apartment blocks of Paris under the oppressive jackboot of the French riot cops. Could be a good one back home?)

Callejera á la Francaise
Paris Housing Hell 3
Discussion Of Riots On Indymedia.ie
Discussion On Urban75
Indymedia.org Feature
Wikipedia Entry on Paris Riots

Paris Housing Hell
Paris Housing Hell 2


La Haine- the film to show
La Haine- the film to show

author by iosafpublication date Sun Nov 06, 2005 18:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree the absence of "leftwing" clamour in support of the kids seems odd, until you realise that this is not an "intifada", nor even as you deftly reminded us with reference to "la haine" a simple matter of ethnicity or class rage.

Which is why its important.

I occasionally work with a collective of documentary and art short movie makers based in Paris, where I lived on and off 1996-1998. We shot a 35mm short in the banlieu, story was simple, a guy with blue hair (we used a filter so the colours were contrasted) coming back from an "afters party" in a borrowed car, need someone to talk to, and offers a lift to a hitch-hiker who we first see standing next to a burning car. We didn't bat an eyelid whilst filming it. The hitch-hiker's name is Dragan, he had come from Bosnia, and wants to join his uncle in London. The driver asks his passenger if he likes techno. "Techno saved my life". The car breaks down somewhere close to the river, and the driver curses it whilst finally losing his temper with his passenger's lack of party spirit "you know all those wars, you see on tv, belfast, sarajevo? they'll be forgotten, and this wasn't my fucking car". Dragan leaves him to his priorities "my father, my mother are dead" and walks along on the train tracks into Gare du Nord with a flashback scene in his head of the driver in a german WW2 uniform chasing him through the brown soil sites that thread the banlieu, whilst he is wearing a blue dress. (laura ashley) They were different times, yet the same times.
Then if you had to go to work in the centre you could walk or even drive a motorcycle along the trainlines. Now they are fortified because of terrorism and migration. Then the cars regularly were burned out for boredom's sake as I'm sure you'll see in any deprived urban area. Now if you need to goto work, your local buses have been burnt by teenagers who are being mimicked throughout France. I lived during this project in Republique. It was and is the Parisien equivalent to Brixton. The relatively central african neghbourhood. Social problems a plenty but also the impetus of slow gentrification and the sucess of integration always present in equal doses. We never saw burned cars in Republique. It was and is the neighbourhood which has seen the most "left" and "internationalist" organisation against the war, for fair treatment of migrants, its famous little group "collective neuf" occupied the offices of the deputy representing the banlieu in riots last Friday and are still there. They helped to organise the street marches of residents to say "please leave us alone we are not your enemy" on Saturday.

Last night three cars were burned in Republique.
Perhaps commentators far away, think that intifada was waged in Tallaght in Ireland in the 80s. Or perhaps not. Maybe they think cars will never be burned by nihilist youth on Stephen's Green or the champs elysee.Maybe they're all sadly wrong.
One thing is certain, tomorrow morning many people are going to find it hard to get to work, or keep a job, or find a new one, if their adress is in the banlieu. & no time soon, will they feature on the tourist trail.

link to my coverage of this phenomona :-

author by ali la pointe - brigade de ben-bellapublication date Sun Nov 06, 2005 20:04author email comandante at speedymail dot orgauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great coverage.

The French left is caught hiding its own racism behind republican secularist rhetoric. Hence the hijab debacle. I hope the communities in this uprising start making politics of this, because if they are waiting for the white left, Chirac will make mince meat of them.

BTW my favourite moment in the film remains the opening scene NTM Supreme's "Assasin de la Police" mixed with Edith Piaf's "Je ne regrette rien"

author by lana thelamépublication date Sun Nov 06, 2005 21:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- the french rebellion -
the spontaneous uprising in france continues. it has began 10 days ago in the suburbs of paris - meantime it has spread out all over france.
fire fighters, police stations, schools, kindergardens, companies, bus depots, power plants are set on fire. last night the riots reached even the center of paris. 1300 cars burned - a new record. the night before 900 cars burned, the night before that night 600 cars...
for more information click:


author by mike theodirakispublication date Sun Nov 06, 2005 21:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

sorry, not fire fighters are set on fire - fire fighter stations are set on fire.....

author by pedantpublication date Sun Nov 06, 2005 22:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

[[NTM Supreme's "Assasin de la Police" mixed with Edith Piaf's "Je ne regrette rien"]]

Doesn't that happen about halfway through, when the kid puts his speakers facing out the window?

If memory serves, the opening song is Bob Marley's Burnin' & Lootin' (with a montage of the riots etc on screen)..

Here's a handy tip though, don't buy the 'soundtrack' if you're looking for either, cos neither song appears on it, nor does the music the b-boys are dancing to. It's 'music inspired by the film', rather than the actual soundtrack. At least the version I bought was - its still pretty decent though.


Anyway, here's some translations of articles about teh riots from the French media


author by solidaritypublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 00:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors


"Grand Total : As of Sunday morning, tenth night, the total number of people arrested since October 27 surpassed 800,"

A massive number of people are going to have their lives destroyed - 5 years or 10 years or even more in prison simply because they burnt a climate-destroying inanimate object at the centre of the Iraq invasion/occupation: a car.

People doing solidarity are going to have to demand that the French government provides an amnesty for anyone for his/her actions in burning a car as part of a political protest action. Unless there is wide international (and local) support for those who only burnt cars, all our intellectualising is mere armchair chatter.

Rassemblement pour soutenir les émeutiers des nuits précédentes qui passent en comparution immédiate.
RDV lundi 7 ŕ 14h au tribunal de grande instance de Bobigny (93).
Ligne 5. M° Bobigny - Pablo Picasso

Gathering to support the insurgents from the previous nights who are passing in front of the TGI (Tribunal de grande instance = some sort of court) with an immediate appearance (start of the full court proceedings). Meeting Monday 7.11.2005 at 14:00 at the TGI in Bobigny. Take the Line 5 metro to the station Bobigny - Pablo Picasso. Look at a map or ask for local directions once you're there.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Clichy-sous-Bois_riots
author by d'otherpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 00:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im looking for some info on a police attack on a predominantly arab pro-algerian independence demo in 1962? cant get it in google...any ideas?

author by Joe Cpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 02:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On October 17, 1961, thousands of Algerian immigrants living in Paris took to the streets in support of the national liberation struggle being waged in Algeria against France by the FLN (Front Libération National - National Liberation Front). In response, the Paris police department violently broke up the demonstations, as well as took other severe actions related to the demonstrations.
cut and paste replaced by link to article - 1 of IMC Ed

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_massacre_of_1961
author by Raynaudpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 04:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The French radical left needs to engage with Arab and black French youth. Supporting the government's crackdown on the hijab was disgusting, and revolutionaries should really know better."

Joe, you bring to my mind that famous quote from Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado:

"Then the idiot who praises with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this and every country but his own."

The press has failed to explore the attitude and opinions of native French people during this time. I do believe that the gent who wrote this article was suggesting that the French radical left liaise with criminals who are burning down schools, post offices and shops where hard-working French people make their living every day. That is utterly reprehensible.

It is also strange to note that the only person who has died in the midst of all this is one Jean-Claude Irvoas, a French employee murdered in front of his wife and child by North African youths on October 27. The media have been quick to play the "economic discrimination and segregation" card, but not willing look at the facts as they are.

I am doubly concerned that the European radical left, as they call themselves, are seeking to do deals with murderers to suit their own laughable "revolutionary" ends.

I am also disgusted to see remarks passed on the French police as "Le Pen's torturing paratroopers". The fact that they are currently risking their lives against criminals and miscreants aside, it is stupid to put the Le Pen label on them. The man is not and will never be in charge of them. But of course, the radical Left will fling disrespectful labels at people, no matter what position of danger they are in.

author by Wise onepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 05:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

were referred to in the text as some of the old army veterans holding flags. Le Pen was a major in the Paratroop regiment at the time and was found guilty of torture. Fact.

The CRS are another bunch of violent psychopaths. And, to be honest, their provocative actions over the years in the Parisian ghettoes have stored up the present fire storm raging all around them.

author by Brianpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 05:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You know the other point is that France is not a popular place right now among the neo cons in the US ......this is from Wayne Madsen and maybe revealing some leaks from his old employers in the NSA:

November 6, 2005 -- Neo-con/fascist provocateurs behind French riots? As is the case with other European countries where fascist and Islamist fundamentalist forces have joined forces, there is increasing evidence that the riots that have swept France for a week and a half have been far more than spontaneous reactions to the electrocution at a Paris electrical sub-station of two Muslim teens who were escaping police. With an ailing President Jacques Chirac stepping down in 2007, the battle lines have been drawn between two conservative presidential candidates -- Interior Minister Nicolas Sarzoky (nicknamed "Sarko"), a confirmed neo-con in the tradition of fellow travelers in Italy, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Israel, and Spain, and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. Sarkozy has inflamed Muslims and other minorities in France by describing ghetto youths in broad pejorative terms such as "riff-raff" and "scum." While Sarkozy has inflamed the situation with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, de Villepin has sought to mollify the situation by not wanting to overreact and create more turmoil.

However, with rioting spreading beyond Paris to the north and south of the country and extending beyond young Muslims to unemployed African, Afro-Caribbean, and white young people, the situation is being used by Sarkozy to blame "Jihadist conspiracists" for coordinating the rioting. Sarkozy has strong links to the Likud Party in Israel and the neo-cons in the Bush administration and the Blair government in London. The neo-con media conglomerates such as Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and the Hollinger Group are blaming the violence on France's relative tolerance of its large Muslim population. The neo-con media is also playing up reports that French rioters are proclaiming that they are turning Paris into "Baghdad." The always reprehensible neo-con racist Mark Steyn, who pens his vile hate-filled garbage for the Chicago Sun Times and other neo-con rags, writes that the rioting youths are not really French but Arabs taking advantage of Jacques Chirac's "weakness" on Iraq. Funny, but this editor never met too many Arabs from Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Basse-Terre, Abidjan, Antananarivo, Porto Novo, or Brazzaville. Too bad about the neo-cons, geography and history don't seem to be their strong points. Racist talking points, on the other hand, are their stock in trade.

paris.jpg (3883 bytes) Baghdadbombing.jpg (2570 bytes)

Neo-con game plan? Turning Paris into Baghdad

What is happening in France has all the signs of yet another possible neo-con "false flag" operation in the same category as the Niger fraudulent uranium documents, the provocative actions of Israeli agents in New Jersey who were dressed up as Arabs during the morning of 9-11, unexplained Spanish and British government activities surrounding the train bombings in Madrid and London, and recent deadly bombings in Delhi during Hindu and Muslim holidays attributed to a previously unknown Kashmiri group. The neo-cons have been unhappy about India's Congress government (a government the neo-cons are trying to link to the UN Oil-for-Food scandal), which unlike the previous Hindu nationalist government, is making peace overtures to neighboring Pakistan. As with France, India immediately suspected closely coordinated planning in the bombings and sought to analyze intercepts of thousands of cell phone calls placed in the Indian capital shortly before the bombings.

The French politician who benefits the most from this explosion of violence in a country where Muslim citizens constitute a significant minority is Sarkozy. The losers stand to be de Villepin's faction of the Gaullist RPR party and a newly-resurgent Socialist Party, which rejects the neo-con international agenda. It is not coincidental that the rioting is mainly plaguing cities and towns governed by Socialist and Communist mayors -- leaders who are now caught between addressing the social problems that helped spark the violence and responding to calls for a return to law and order.

The Socialists, Greens, and Communists are charging Sarkozy with inciting greater violence and then failing to respond to it adequately, thus ensuring the rioting would spread beyond mainly Muslim areas in Paris to wealthier Parisian neighborhoods and beyond Paris to Rouen, Lille, Nice, Dijon, Strasbourg, Marseille, Bordeaux, Rennes, Pau, Orleans, and Toulouse. Later, the closely coordinated rioting spread further to Lyon, Roubaix, Avignon, Saint-Dizier, Drancy, Evreux, Nantes, Dunkirk, Montpellier, Valenciennes, Cannes, and Tourcoing.

As in Italy, Britain, Switzerland, and Germany, there are strong links in France between Islamist fundamentalist provocateurs and neo-Nazis. For example, French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen is close to Achmed Huber, formerly of Al Taqwa, a Swiss and Italian financial group linked by the United States Treasury Department to Al Qaeda. Informed sources in Germany and the United States have also linked Huber to the activities of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega during the Iran-Contra covert operations conducted by the Reagan-Bush administration. Interestingly, French intelligence and law enforcement are reporting that the riots in France involve international narcotics smugglers.

The possibility that neo-cons and their fascist allies are manipulating the violence in France to their own advantage has the net result of bringing France into the neo-con's oft-stated goal of a "Clash of Civilizations" between the West and the Muslim world. The likes of Mark Steyn are already insidiously referring to the Frankish-Muslim 732 Battle of Tours between a Moorish army and the forces of Charles Martel. Other neo-con propaganda outlets are echoing the words "Vichy" for the French government. It is all very transparent who is behind instigating the violence now sweeping France.

Reasonable political leaders in France should realize that the riots in France are being used to ratchet up tensions in Europe and distract attention away from recent reports of US secret prison camps and torture centers in Eastern Europe and additional proof that the neo-cons conspired to push the United States into a disastrous war in Iraq. Already, the neo-con media is blaming the violence in France on Islamic terrorists -- a stock phrase for the neo-cons in Washington, London, Jerusalem, Rome, and the French Interior Ministry allies of Sarkozy. However, most of the rioters, mostly from North Africa and Western Africa, are not even practicing Muslims, making the possibility of "Fifth Column" provocateurs being behind the violence all the more likely. French officials are increasingly suggesting that the violence has been closely coordinated and that the primary targets -- trains, police stations, youth centers, banks, libraries, post offices, municipal buildings, schools -- have all been connected to the French government and not to ethnic or religious groups.

Muslim rioting has also spread to Arhus, Denmark and police in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods in Brussels are on full alert. The Danish rioting conveniently broke out as a parliamentary inquiry is due to get underway on the lying by the neo-con influenced government of Anders Fogh Rasmussen on bogus Iraqi WMD intelligence. Neo-con media organs in Europe and North America are suspiciously blaming the Muslim violence on Europe's "welfare state."

The National Security Agency and other signals intelligence agencies that monitor French communications are likely in possession of intercepts that would point to interesting outside interference in coordinating and promoting the French violence and the resultant counter-actions by Sarkozy. It would be interesting to read the transcripts of Sarkozy's recent telephone conversations with his co-ideologists in Washington, London, Brussels, Jerusalem, and Rome. A few years ago, a senior inspector with the French DST (FBI) told this editor that his agency's wiretaps of Richard Perle's home in the south of France had yielded some interesting information, all of which was passed to the FBI in Washington. Perhaps it is time that raw intercepts of international phone calls and e-mail among the neo-cons be leaked in order to hang them using their own past tactics. With their fingerprints beginning to appear on the French rioting, the neo-cons are proving that they will not be put down easily. ( www.waynemadsenreport.com )

author by observerpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am sick listening to people romanticising the criminal rampage in France as some kind of revolutionary event. Fact is that it is uncontrolled violence by anti-social elements who if they have any ideology it is of the most backward anti-democratic, anti-left, misogynistic variety. These scum have not been rejected by the French radical left - ie. PCF/CGT. THEY have rejected it and in many instances been responsible for driving PCF members and supporters from the parts of cities they once lived in and had made 'red' strongholds.

For those inclined to see this as the harbinger of a new world, just try to imagine what it would be like if it was happening in Finglas, Tallaght, Blanchardstown, Clondalkin.

author by Eoinpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The French parliament, including many "left wing" politicians, voted a law in February this year to put a positive spin on French colonialism. (see http://mondediplo.com/2005/06/19colonisation and http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,11882,1460104,00.html ) France is a racist country. I know because I live here.

I agree with iosaf's position on the issue of the current riots though. You can't liken this to an "intifada" and be serious. There is nothing targeted about their car burning and window smashing. The young streetfighters can't fire at checkpoints or tanks, because the reasons for their unemployment, their social exclusion, their plight, is more difficult to target. So they smash and burn the property of their neighbours, wave sticks and through stones for the TV cameras, and clock up arrests and criminal charges to their record (as if being a young black or Arab from the cité wasn't enough).

The French police are racist pigs. Sarkozi is a racist dick too, and this time he's gone so far that even the corporate and state media are naming him for what he is.

author by ali la pointepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

17 Oct 1961 - still not acknowledged fully by the french state (hundreds of bodies floating in the Seine) - an atrocity commited by Maurice Papon, De Gaulle's Minister of the Interior. Maurice Papon was, of course Chief of Police under the Nazi occupation and responsible for mass round-up of Jews who were kept in the Velodrome before transporting them to the camps in the east. The same Velodrome where he interned thousands of Algerians on 17 Oct 1961.

France hasn't just failed to come to terms with its colonial past - it has failed to deal with its Nazi past. Unlike Germany, France was never denazified after the war.

author by ALpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We support the rebellion against injustice, the sense of mass solidarity, the elements of political awareness amongst most young people. As such, we understand and are in solidarity with both the necessity and the reasons behind the direct action now taking place throughout the working class areas.


We are not going to demand a return to “community policing” or building new sports centers so that young people can work out their frustrations in silence. Does anyone seriously believe that this will solve the social tension caused by the political and social violence of those in power?

Related Link: http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1662
author by Jean-Paulpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Police officers, exhausted and dispirited after 11 nights of street battles, say their mainly young African and Arab adversaries have access to sophisticated weapons including grenades and could soon begin using them.
A dozen officers were injured, two of them seriously, after being shot with hunting rifles fitted with lead pellets during rioting last night in the suburb of Grigny, south of Paris, police said.
Jean-Christophe Carne, president of a police trade union, told The Washington Times before last night's outbreak that police officers were increasingly pessimistic that civic order would be restored anytime soon.
"Most of these kids are being coached by professional petty criminals and gang leaders in the suburbs," said Mr. Carne, president of Action Police CFTC.
"In the past, when we have cracked down on these criminals in their homes, we found drugs, grenades and heavy weapons such as guns. While they haven't started using these arms yet, there's also no reason to think they wouldn't."
About 200 rioters took part in last night's rioting in Grigny, pelting police with stones and bottles and shooting shotgun pellets. "The pellets will not kill a person if fired from a distance, but in some circumstances, they can do serious harm, such as blind someone," said a police spokesman.
In other areas ringing the French capital, as well as in cities and towns across the country, arsonists continued to attack cars, buses, schools, social centers and day care centers as well as other public buildings using homemade gasoline bombs.
In St. Etienne, an old industrial city in the center of France, vandals set a bus on fire, injuring two persons. While in Colombes, a suburb west of Paris, a baby was injured by stones ricocheting off a bus under attack.
President Jacques Chirac declared earlier yesterday that restoring security and public order was an "absolute priority."
Speaking publicly for the first time since the rioting began Oct. 27, Mr. Chirac said, "The law must have the last word. The republic is quite determined, by definition, to be stronger than those who want to sow violence or fear."
Mr. Chirac, who had been criticized for his silence at a time of crisis, issued his statement after meeting top ministers on domestic security.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who attended the meeting, said security throughout the country will be reinforced and court procedures accelerated so that those arrested can be tried immediately.
Later in the evening, Muslim leaders also called for an end to violence, issuing a religious edict, or fatwa, against rioting. French authorities have hinted that Islamic militants may be manipulating angry teenagers to defy the government, using the Internet to organize the unrest.
Despite the tough talk from government and community leaders, there has been no mention yet of whether the army would be called in, or whether a curfew would be imposed to suppress the rioting, the worst in France since the 1968 student riots. Overtaxed police officers, however, are hoping to see such reinforcements.
"With every passing day, the violence gets worse and we are incapable of dealing with it," Mr. Carne said. "Morale within the police is at zero, and I am very pessimistic that the situation can be resolved without a major reinforcement of security."
Mr. Carne said three policewomen assaulted in the Normandy town of Evreux on Saturday night were likely targeted because they were outnumbered by attackers, adding that it took two hours before additional officers were able to reach the scene.
Arsonists destroyed more than 3,300 vehicles and dozens of buildings since the unrest began. In an unprecedented show of hostility, gangs of youths yesterday also began increasing their attacks on police, hitting them with everything from rocks to Molotov cocktails.
More than 800 people have been arrested, of which 20 have been convicted and sentenced to at least one year in prison.
Over the weekend, police also found a gasoline bomb-making workshop in a derelict building in Evry, south of Paris, with more than 100 bottles ready to be turned into Molotov cocktails, 50 more ready to use, as well as fuel stocks and hoods for hiding rioters' faces.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Justice Ministry official Jean-Marie Huet said the discovery shows that gasoline bombs "are not being improvised by kids in their bathrooms."
Mr. Hamon told AP that the rioters were also coordinating attacks through cell phone text messages as they gradually become better organized.
Reuters news agency quoted authorities saying drug traffickers and Islamist militants were also using the Internet to organize the unrest.

author by iosafpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can anyone solve the next problem?

If Justice is to be done, the kid who burns the bus you need, or the buildings on your street where your community work or walk, has to be "treated upon" properly. Ok we are all against them being put up agianst the wall and shot, it would have ended the riots really quickly, but significantly only one shot has been fired at police since they began. It would be counter-productive to bring guns into this, they are kids not rebels or insurgents. But once these disturbances end, the whole communities will suffer.

In 6 Parisien districts there is no proper bus service now. How long will it take for new buses to be made available?
If there is a delay thats injustice. in close to 200 french districts the public telephone kiosks have been burnt. How long will it take for new telephones to be installed? Real Justice will not be done *to* the "perpetrators" but rather *for* the victims. If the victims don't get their services back to the standard of two weeks ago, and then they are not improved (as much as they have long asked for) then they are being collectively punished for the crimes of kids.
Thats just about when "politics" will enter the discussion.

author by Jacques De Molaypublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

60 year old man dies violently
A man beaten up during violence in a riot-hit suburb north of Paris died of his injuries on Monday, making him the first fatality in unrest that began on October 27.
Hospital officials and an Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed the death of Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec but gave no other details.

Le Parisien newspaper said the victim was 60 and had been attacked by a youth outside his home in the suburb of Stains. He had been in a coma since then, it said.

Rioters shot at police and torched 1,400 vehicles overnight form Sunday to Monday as unrest increased, despite a vow by President Jacques Chirac to defeat it.

author by unforgetful elephantpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 16:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Will they end up like the old CP in May 68..."

You dont have to go back that far to see old style Leninist parties pulling back from the brink of achieving something meaningful. It happened in March 2003 when the SWP and other pseudo revolutionary groups cringed back in mock fear at the possibility of a fence being pulled down. A poxy fence! And now one of the cadre is defending the complete burning of working class districts by gangs of depoliticised kids, laughingly comparing it to the Palestinian intifada.

Distance = comfort + support for trot groups. We can shout slogans and throw our ideological weight behind radical movements in other places, thus giving us a degree of credibility to hoover up new recruits, but when it comes to actually doing anything beyond marching around with placards on our own doorstep - forget it.

Would people jump to support the "intifada" against the Garda in Ballyfermot at Halowe'en a few years back? They burned cars and bins then too.

author by Opportunistic Trotspublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Well it didn't take long.

author by Stop this madness now!publication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A 60 year old man trying to stop out of control youths from lighting rubbish bins was beaten to death.
What did he do to anybody? Was he responsible for the deaths of those two poor teenagers who were accidentally electrocuted?
Who are these thugs destroying ordinary people's private property, their cars, their shops and businesses, who the hell do they think they are?
The time is long since past to put manners on these people. The police and firemen putting their lives on the line have done a valiant job rounding up troublemakers and putting out fires. But the riots continue. There should be a curfew imposed. These thugs cannot be allowed to terrorise the millions of loyal law abiding and peaceful French citizens under seige almost two weeks by these brutes.
I sympathise wholeheartedly with people who are desperately poor and feel they do not have a voice - but violence and terrorism is not te answer. How do they expect to recieve a fare hearing if they cause destruction and civil strife? The solution is democratic politics not street fighting. Why does what works for the rest of France not work for them?
An innocent man is dead. I hope their happy for his family.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rational Jacobin terrorism killed lots of 60-year old men, 14-year old girls and sundry others using efficient new killing methods. Violence and terrorism have always had a part in the formation of new social orders.

Look at the USA! They say we've got to use methods which include the inadvertent collateral killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians in order to achieve democracy and free-market economics. They say that we can only get peace and freedom by mistreating certain types of people.

Maybe the kids rioting in Paris have taken that lesson to heart?

author by stop this madness nowpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What kind of sick twisted fuck can justify beating a 60 year old man to death?

author by Blanquipublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Why does what works for the rest of France not work for them?"

That's the whole point, IT DOESN'T WORK FOR THEM. The system is not designed to work for them. Poor immigrants are excluded from "democratic politics". It's one thing to (rightly) condemn attacks on innocent people. It's another thing to support the French state when it tries to beat people into submission, as Sarkozy wants to do. If it was easy, or even conceivable, for these kids to get representation from mainstream politicians there wouldn't be any riots.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we are now after the 13th night of rioting.
617 cars were burnt the majority in the southern "occitan" regions of France with 200 arrests.

And we are one day after the application of a law designed to stop algerians rioting in 1955.

Whereas last weekend, the french media looked to its neighbours and hinted at "fear" in other states that their youth may follow suit, for some reason they didn't. Yes there have been incidents on the night of the 7th in Belgium and Germany but they were only worthy of comment against the backdrop of Paris burning, somehow the nihilist youth of those states lacked the impetus to continue. We do not know how many cars were burned across Europe, or telephone boxes, or how many arson attacks occured. But normally any city over a million habitants houses at least 50 arsonists, and they're a dedicated bunch.

So now the thoughts of France's neighbours are more interesting. Today Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian, noting that "the uk can not lecture", also seems unsurprised, and accuses of France of an inablity to see its own institutional racism as the problem.
And Barcelona's centrist newspaper La Vanguardia has issued forth yet another editorial, but this time the tone is markedly different.
http://www.lavanguardia.es/web/20051109/51197170718.html "france under suspicion".

The French are no longer finding sympathy amongst their car owning peers of the EU. Fact is, trouble stopped at Perpignan and didn't cross the pyrennes just as it stopped at the curfew of Le Harve and didn't cross the channel. the problem it seems is not "young people" but F-R-A-N-C-E.

& you know, I think they're right. But I'm going to go one further. I believe that an underlying factor of all this, is not just the racism of the French, but the backdrop of the illegal war on Iraq. I'm prepared to write I really do believe ther is an element of the "clash of civilisation" thing, that no-one dare admit exists.

Mr Bush and Blair went into Iraq, to give it democracy, the sort of democracy that involves lots of burning cars. And in the last 2 years we've seen cars burn everywhere have we not? Maybe in the end, the real reason Chirac and De Villepin were so eloquent in their opposition to that war, was the knowledge that the resulting shift in nightly news themes would sooner or later light that fuse. This is something the British steadfastly refuse to face up to. They were bombed by their own subject citizens, or they were bombed by their own second generation migrants. "but it had nothing to do with Iraq". But yes it did. It had everything to do with it. Thank you mr Bush, you've brought us to the stage of admitting our post colonial, post imperialist states never properly atoned for anything.

author by John Meehanpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 01:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Faced with widespread revolt, government declares state of emergency

The nightly riots in the poor neighbourhoods around France’s towns and
cities have now been going on for two weeks. On November 7th, Prime Minister
Dominique de Villepin announced the government’s response. It was to
resuscitate a 1955 law authorizing the proclamation of a state of emergency.
This law not only authorizes prefects (non-elected, government-appointed
administrators of France’s departments – the equivalent of counties) to
impose curfews in areas where they deem it necessary. It can also be used to
ban meetings and demonstrations, control the press, place banning orders on
people going to certain places, search houses at night and even put people
under house arrest.

The utilisation of the 1955 law is highly symbolic. It was originally
adopted during the Algerian War of Independence to combat the independence
fighters and the population that supported them. Fifty years later it is
being used against young people, many of whom are the grandchildren of those
same Algerians. Because the areas where the riots have taken place are not
just poor and neglected. They are also home to large concentrations of North
and Black Africans. The vast majority of these young people were born in
France and therefore have French citizenship. But they are very conscious of
not being French citizens like anyone else. Young people of Arab and African
origin are second-class citizens. Even when they succeed in leaving school
with qualifications, or even go to university, their chances of finding a
job are much less than their white counterparts. And they are subjected to
constant racist harassment – police controls, de facto colour bars at the
entrance to night clubs, etc.

The use of the 1995 law amounts to a recognition that the only thing the
government has to offer these young people is repression. Periodic attempts
to “rehabilitate’ their neighbourhoods have had little effect. A generation
of young people has grown up in grim, increasingly ghetto-like housing
estates, with little hope of escape, and feeling rejected by a society whose
loudly-proclaimed commitment equality does not seem to apply to them. The
significance of the state of emergency has not been lost on those concerned.
Recalling the aim of the original law fifty years ago, Djamel a 30-year old
inhabitant of the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers, put its succinctly to a
journalist from the daily Le Monde: “ In this country a bougnoule (a racist
term for North Africans) remains a bougnoule. It’s serious. You see, its
proof that they don’t consider us to be really French”. His friend Omar
added: “People are going to go crazy. We’re already confined to our estates,
now they’re passing laws to lock us up in our own homes”.

People - young people - have already “gone crazy”. In many ways, what is
surprising is not that the suburbs have exploded but that they did not
explode before. The riots were sparked off by the deaths of two teenagers in
the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, who were accidentally electrocuted as
they took refuge from police. That was the straw that broke the camel’s
back. But it was far from an isolated incident. Young people – mostly of
Arab and African origin – regularly die from the brutal methods of the
police. Usually the result is a local riot or protest march, and then things
die down again - till the next time. This time the pent-up anger exploded
and the revolt spread to other Parisian suburbs and then across France. The
scale of the revolt is indicated by the more than 30 zones where the state
of emergency has been invoked. They cover areas in and around France’s main
towns and cities, from the English Channel to the Mediterranean.

The term “riot” which has come to be applied to the revolt is in fact
misleading. The revolt is the work of gangs of youth who know each other and
who consciously turn their anger into acts of destruction of property –
burning cars, schools, shops, buses – and attacks on the hated police. As
one young man put it to the Madrid daily El Pais: “We don’t have words to
explain what we feel. We only know how to speak with fire”. Beyond their
immediate targets, their anger is directed against Interior Minister Nicolas
Sarkozy, the hard right hopeful for the 2007 presidential election, who has
described them as “rabble” and “gangrene” and threatened to “hose down”
their neighbourhoods. The only political demand that the rioters put forward
is for Sarkozy’s resignation.

Of course, there is a negative side to this revolt. It is easy enough to see
that wreaking havoc in their own neighbourhoods causes damage to their
neighbours and families. This can and is being exploited by the government
to divide their communities between generations and between French and
immigrants. But when the despair of those to whom society offers no future
explodes in revolt, it rarely does so in a neat, tidy and “politically
correct” way. What is happening in France today recalls the explosions in
the ghettoes of North America in the 1960s and the 1981 riots in England.

The riots have been the at the centre of French political life for two
weeks. The right-wing government has alternated between Sarkozy’s
provocative statements and mealy-mouthed assurances of the government’s
concern and understanding. But the bottom line was to send in more and more
police, thus acerbating the situation, and finally to resort to the 1955
law. Well over a thousand young people have already been arrested. In this
climate the far Right has been having a field day. National Front leader
Jean Marie Le Pen has called on rioters to be stripped of their French
citizenship. Philippe de Villiers, leader of the rival Movement for France
has said that the government “has not taken the measure of the anti-French
insurrection which is threatening the unity of the republic”. Both the far
Right and the right wing of the ruling UMP party have called for the army to
be sent in to the suburbs.

The main opposition party, the Socialist Party, has not rejected the use of
the 1955 law, confining itself to saying that it was necessary to be
“vigilant’ in applying it but that “above all, it is imperative to
re-establish order and security”. Forces to the left of the SP have reacted
differently, placing the blame for the riots on decades of neglect,
institutionalised racism and police brutality. The LCR, French section of
the Fourth International, has called from the beginning for the resignation
of Sarkozy. This demand has also been taken up by the Communist Party
leadership, which has however had to contend with pressure from within the
party, mainly from the municipalities it controls in the suburbs, to put
equal blame on the police and the rioters.
A joint statement opposing the state of emergency was issued on November
8th, signed by political parties (the LCR, the CP, the Greens and the
Citizens’ Alternative), trade unions and civil rights organisations.
Discussions are taking place with a view to organising unitary initiatives,
including demonstrations in defiance of the curfew in the areas where it has
been imposed. A first rally took place on November 9th in Bobigny,
administrative centre of the Seine Saint-Denis department, north-east of
Paris, the area where the revolt began. It was supported by the LCR, the CP
and the main trade unions of the department. But over and above such
initiatives, when the dust has settled, the French Left will have to develop
an ongoing presence in the neighbourhoods where the revolt exploded, and
from which it has been all too absent in recent years.

Related Link:
author by Anonymouspublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will you have a word with 'Francis Grennell' about posting anonymously? I know it's one of your pet subjects on Indymedia for years now.
But that's your brother and now one of your closest political allies posting anonymously. Criticism should start closer to home - don't you think?

author by bouncingpublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 14:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

of an article in le Monde on the 6th
Last friday police reported 754 vehicles burnt, and 203 arrests. Of those 754, only 190 were outside of Paris. Last night (one week later) the _same number of arrests, 203 is the average figure. Odd that. but still over 500 car burned, the majority outside of Paris.

read the article the original text of which is here
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3226,36-707261@51-704172,0.html in english translation at link and get a picture of the kids.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ch/fr/2005/11/36271.shtml
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