French urban unrest hits new high

Ten nights in row, and last night was the most ferocious. This could bring down the government, who seem clueless as what to do. Not that there are any obvious soultions…

Urban violence scaled new heights in France as gangs of youths torched cars, shops and firms in the 10th straight night of violence in poor suburbs of Paris and provincial towns, despite heavy police reinforcements.

Authorities say the rolling nightly riots are being organised via the Internet and mobile phones <well, duh> , and have pointed the finger at drug traffickers and Islamist militants.

Say what? Why would drug traffickers support something that disrupts their business? But they’re certainly an easy target to demonize. Ditto for Islamist militants. This foolish statement implies the riots are orchestrated and planned by some controlling sinister force, and that’s clearly not what’s happening however much law-and-order types looking for a head to cut off might wish. What’s happening is a spontaneous uprising. 

Authorities have so far found no way beyond appeals and more police to address a problem with complex social, economic and racial causes.

"Many youths have never seen their parents work and couldn’t hold down a job if they got one," said Claude Chevallier, manager of a burned-out carpet depot in the rundown Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois.

Well, rather than slime the youth and their parents, solutions to the obvious appalling poverty, racism, and neglect need to be found. Because even the government is saying, that’s the root of what caused it. 

PS Why is France Burning from reporter Doug Ireland who lived in France for ten years is an excellent overview of why it’s happening.

Technorati tag: Paris riots

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