France: Will the uprising subside?

French riots continue despite curfew threat

Ignoring the government’s threat of a curfew, youths rioted for the 12th night in France, torching more than 800 vehicles around the country and injuring four police, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

The nightly protests against racism and unemployment dropped markedly in the greater Paris region, where violence had escalated to the point of shooting at police, but continued unabated in other parts of France, a ministry statement showed. 

Global Guerrillas sees this as the embryo stage with serious escalation coming at some future point regardless of what the government does. Or maybe because of what the government does.

Will the violence continue? Probably, despite indications that it has subsided. <written Monday> The open source war is moving under its own momentum now (the participants in Paris are likely just dead tired and the collective thinking of the community was to rest). This means that Prime Minister Villepin’s attempt to extend an olive branch will not restore any measure of lasting calm. Nor will the extra police since the guerrillas will continue to evade their patrols and overwhelm them when they engage. The only solution, egged on by many, will be the broad use of the military to restore order.

The use of the military, when taken, will shut down the insurgency for now. However, the presence of troops in the banlieue will be a source of provocation that will continue to fuel future efforts. Mass arrests will only make things worse. During the period of military enforced calm, France’s open source guerrillas will radically improve their methods. The next time violence emerges, it won’t be just cars that are torched.

Emphasis added. This new insurgency is just a pup. Like many networked organizations, it’ll be learning fast, morphing, splitting, creating new structures and tactics.

It will be the very infrastructure that France relies upon for modern life (via swarms much like we see today and new methods of cascading network failures). Given the efficacy of these techniques, the economic pain of this future conflict will be many times worse than the current one and will be shared by all of Europe. This conflict’s long term impact on the future of French prosperity is hard to measure at this time, but it certainly is going to be severe.

Blowback: The unintended consequences of actions. Mistreat a dog, one day it’ll probably bite you.

From Al-Jazeera

"In their behaviour, they surely seem like savages, as is usually the case in revolutions," said an editorial in Asharq Al-Awsat.

"But unfortunately these are the voices of a community that has no voice on the political scene"

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