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Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005
Unrest Reaches Paris; 13 Cars Torched

PARIS (AP) - The urban unrest that triggered scores of arson attacks on vehicles, nursery schools and other targets from the Mediterranean to the German border reached Paris overnight, with police saying early Sunday that 13 cars were burned in the French capital.

By 1 a.m., at least 607 vehicles - including those in Paris - were burned during the 10th night of violence, said Patrick Hamon, spokesman for the national police. The overall figures were expected to climb by daybreak, he added.

The violence - originally concentrated in neighborhoods northeast of Paris with large immigrant populations - has spread across France, extending west to the rolling fields of Normandy and south to resort cities on the Mediterranean. Attacks were reported in Cannes and Nice.

In the Normandy town of Evreux, arsonists burned at least 50 vehicles, part of a shopping center, a post office and two schools, Hamon said.

Five police officers and three firefighters were injured battling the blazes, he said.

The unrest is forcing France to confront long-simmering anger in its suburbs, where many Africans and their French-born children live on society's margins, struggling with unemployment, poor housing, racial discrimination, crime and a lack of opportunity.

Police deployed a helicopter and tactical teams to chase down youths speeding from one attack to another in cars and on motorbikes. Some 2,300 police were brought into the Paris region to bolster security, France-Info said. More than 250 people were arrested.

The violence erupted Oct. 27 following the accidental electrocution of two teenagers who hid in a power substation, apparently believing police were chasing them.

The anger spread to the Internet, with blogs mourning the youths.

Along with messages of condolence and appeals for calm were insults targeting police, threats of more violence and warnings that the unrest will feed support for France's anti-immigration extreme right.

``Civil war is declared. There will no doubt be deaths. Unfortunately, we have to prepare,'' said a posting signed ``Rania.''

``We are going to destroy everything. Rest in peace, guys,'' wrote ``Saint Denis.''

The unrest reached Paris late Saturday. Hamon had no immediate information on the neighborhoods where the vehicles were torched. Paris police headquarters said three cars were damaged by fire in the Republique section, northeast of City Hall.

``It's copycat acts,'' Hamon said. ``All these hoodlums see others setting fires and say they can do it, too.''

Evreux, 60 miles to the west, appeared to suffer the worst damage Saturday. The burning of the shopping center showed that ``there is a will to pillage,'' Hamon said. ``This has been true since the start,'' referring to grocery stores, video stores and other businesses that have been set afire.

The unrest has taken on unprecedented scope and intensity, reaching far-flung corners of France on Saturday, from Rouen in Normandy to Bordeaux in the southwest to Strasbourg near the German border.

However, the Paris region has borne the brunt.

In quiet Acheres, on the edge of the St. Germain forest west of Paris, arsonists burned a nursery school, where part of the roof caved in, and about a dozen cars in attacks the mayor described as ``perfectly organized.''

Children's photos clung to the blackened walls, and melted plastic toys littered the floor. Residents gathered at the school gate, demanding that the army be deployed or suggesting that citizens band together to protect their neighborhoods.

Mayor Alain Outreman tried to cool tempers.

``We are not going to start militias,'' he said. ``You would have to be everywhere.''

Cars were torched in the cultural bastion of Avignon in the south and the resort cities of Nice and Cannes, a police officer said.

Arson was reported in Nantes in the southwest, the Lille region in the north and Saint-Dizier in the Ardennes region east of Paris. In the eastern city of Strasbourg, 18 cars were set alight in full daylight, police said.

In one attack, youths in the eastern Paris suburb of Meaux prevented paramedics from evacuating a sick person from a housing project. They pelted rescuers with rocks and then torched the waiting ambulance, an Interior Ministry official said.

Most of the overnight arrests occurred near Paris. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy warned that those convicted could face severe sentences for burning cars.

``Violence penalizes those who live in the toughest conditions,'' he said after a government crisis meeting.

Most rioting has been in towns with low-income housing projects where unemployment and distrust of police run high. But in a new development, arsonists were moving beyond their heavily policed neighborhoods to attack others with less security, Hamon said.

``They are very mobile, in cars or scooters. ... It is quite hard to combat'' he said. ``Most are young, very young, we have even seen young minors.''

There appeared to be no coordination between separate groups in different areas, Hamon said. But within gangs, he added, youths are communicating by cell phones or e-mails.

``They organize themselves, arrange meetings, some prepare the Molotov cocktails,'' he said.

In Torcy, close to Disneyland Paris, a youth center and a police station were set ablaze. In Suresnes, on the Seine River west of the capital, 44 cars were burned in a parking lot.

``We thought Suresnes was calm,'' said Naima Mouis, a hospital employee whose car was torched.

On Saturday morning, more than 1,000 people marched through one of the worst-hit suburbs, Aulnay-sous-Bois. Local officials wore sashes in the red, white and blue of the French flag as they filed past housing projects and the wrecks of burned cars. One white banner read, ``No to violence.''

Anger was fanned days ago when a tear gas bomb exploded in a mosque in Clichy-sous-Bois - the northern suburb where the youths were electrocuted.

Sarkozy also has inflamed passions by referring to troublemakers as ``scum.''

Associated Press reporters Jamey Keaten and Angela Doland in Paris and John Leicester in Acheres contributed to this report.
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Having experienced the '92 riot in L.A., I'm just amazed at the way this thing is playing out. Eek This has been going on for days and is being allowed to continue and that the destruction is being allowed travel from place to place over such a widespread area! Many are youngsters ... and there's no mention of arrests! Do the authorities expect them to just get tired and go home, or what?? Confused

The '92 riots were over the taped beating of a Black man ... this one in France started over an accidental electrocution that did not directly involve police misconduct ... the boys "thought" the police were chasing them!
Paris Burning: How Empires End

by Patrick J. Buchanan
Posted Nov 7, 2005

The Romans conquered the barbarians"”and the barbarians conquered Rome.

So it goes with empires. And comes now the penultimate chapter in the history of the empires of the West.

This is the larger meaning of the ritual murder of Theo Van Gogh in Holland, the subway bombings in London, the train bombings in Madrid, the Paris riots spreading across France. The perpetrators of these crimes in the capitals of Europe are the children of immigrants who were once the colonial subjects of the European empires.

At this writing, the riots are entering their 12th night and have spread to Rouen, Lille, Marseille, Toulouse, Dijon, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Cannes, Nice. Thousands of cars and buses have been torched and several nursery schools fire-bombed. One fleeing and terrified woman was doused with gasoline and set ablaze.

The rioters are of Arab and African descent, and Muslim. While almost all are French citizens, they are not part of the French people. For never have they been assimilated into French culture or society. And some wish to remain who and what they are. They live in France but are not French.
The rampage began October 27 when two Arab youths, fleeing what they mistakenly thought was a police pursuit, leapt onto power lines and were electrocuted. The two deaths ignited the riots.

Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy, a candidate to succeed President Chirac, is said to have infuriated and inflamed the rioters. Before the rampage began, he promised "war without mercy" on crime in the teeming suburbs where unemployment runs at 20% and income is 40% below the national average. He has denounced the rioters as "scum" and "rabble."

Like the urban riots in America in the 1960s, which the Kerner Commission blamed on "white racism," Paris's riots are being blamed on France's failure to bring Islamic immigrants into the social and economic mainstream of the nation. Solutions being offered range from voting rights for non-citizens to affirmative action in hiring for the children of Third World immigrants.

To understand why this is unlikely to solve France's crisis, consider how America succeeded, and often failed, in solving her own racial crisis.
While, as late as the 1950s, black Americans were not integrated fully into our economy or society, they had been assimilated into American culture.

They worshipped the same God, spoke the same language, had endured the same Depression and war, listened to the same music and radio, watched the same TV shows, laughed at the same comedians, went to the same movies, ate the same foods, read the same books, magazines and newspapers, and went to schools where, even when they were segregated, they learned the same history.

We were divided, but we were also one nation and one people. Black folks were as American as apple pie, having lived in our common land longer than almost every other ethnic group save Native Americans. And America had a history of having assimilated immigrants in the tens of millions from Europe.

But no European nation has ever assimilated a large body of immigrant peoples, let alone people of color. Moreover, the African and Islamic peoples pouring into Europe"”there are 20 million there now"”are, unlike black Americans, strangers in a new land, and millions wish to remain proud Algerians, Muslims, Moroccans.

These newcomers worship a different God and practice a faith historically hostile to Christianity, a traditionalist faith that is rising again and recoils violently from a secular culture saturated in sex.

Severed from the civilization and cultures of their parents, these Arab and Muslim youth may hold French citizenship and carry French passports, but they are no more French than Americans who live in Paris are French. Searching for a community to which they can truly belong, they gravitate to mosques where the imams, many themselves immigrants, teach and preach that the West is not their true home, but a civilization alien to their values and historically hostile to their nations and Islam.

The soaring Muslim population is a Fifth Column inside Europe.

Nevertheless, their numbers must grow. For not only do they have a higher birth rate than the native-born Europeans, no European nation, save Moslem Albania, has a birth rate (2.1 births per woman) that will enable it to endure for many more generations. The West is aging, shrinking, and dying.

Yet, to keep Europe's economy growing and taxes coming in to fund the health and pension programs of Europe's rising numbers of retired and elderly, Europe needs scores of millions of new workers. And Europe can only find them in the Third World.

Nor should Americans take comfort in France's distress. By 2050, there will be 100 million Hispanics in the United States, half of them of Mexican ancestry, heavily concentrated in a Southwest most Mexicans still believe by right belongs to them.

Colonization of the mother countries by subject peoples is the last chapter in the history of empires"”and the next chapter in the history of the West"”that is now coming to a close.
Pat couldn't help letting his white fear of black/brown people totally ruin an otherwise fair explanation of the unrest in Paris. Being a sometimes-repentant racist isn't enough to see clearly through an out-of-focus lens that is white Judeo-Christian culture superiority.

Excerpts from Two separate interviews:

    BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN : ...In my opinion, at the heart of the riots in France are France's post-colonial and migration policy and the failure of the republic to deliver to the public liberty, fraternity and equality. But similar problems exist across Europe, actually. There is a migration crisis in Europe that has been growing extensively in the past few years. And sooner or later there's a potential and possibility of same types of riots and uprising occurring in different places.

    In France, what we have been seeing is a combination of class, ethnicity, race and religion and cultural dimensions that gave rise to the riots that we have seen now. Of course, the comments by the Interior Minister ignited the riots, but there were deep-rooted causes that brought about the continuation of the riots: The alienation of the youth, the -- France has continued to look at the post-colonial subjects as colonial subjects. That is, migrants from Algeria and other parts of Africa that were controlled by France are still considered as non-French, although they carry French documents ...

    PETER FORD : ...when you talk to young men in districts like Clichy-sous-Bois and the neighboring suburbs, their number one complaint is that they are constantly, constantly being asked for their papers by the police. the lobbies of their apartment blocks, they say, and the police will come by and ask for their papers. The same policemen who asked for their papers a few hours ago will ask them for their papers again. And if they don't have them, they are locked away at the police station for four hours, and their parents have to come and get them often before they're allowed to go home.

    Or, for example, the police will stop youth -- and one man complained about this -- and feel the hood on his sweatshirt, and if it's sweaty, then he must have been running. And if he was running, he must have committed a crime. This is the sort of atmosphere that the boys themselves complain about.

    An interesting study was done earlier this year by a French professor, who was looking at discrimination, and he sent out nearly 2,000 fictitious applications for a sales job, coming allegedly from five or six different sorts of people. And he found that the obviously North African man, with an Arab name, was invited to a job interview five times less often than his white French counterpart. Even those who get beyond school, to university or to college, and do further education, are finding that even the diplomas they gain do not protect them against unemployment in the way that they used to. Racial discrimination is very real in France, but it's not something that the authorities ever really wanted to face up to.

People with far more contact with the subjects, and far more insight into everyday French life, know that it is not the religion, Islam, that is the primary fuel of the unrest. It is the same ol' same ol': racism, classism, nationalism a/k/a tribalism writ large.
And he found that the obviously North African man, with an Arab name, was invited to a job interview five times less often than his white French counterpart

Goes to show that the "system" of racism is the same wherever you go.

This should be a wake up call for people of color and non-WASPs.

The true face of racism is a Global one. The Berlin wall coming down wasn't as great an event as everyone thought.
The Romans conquered the barbarians"”and the barbarians conquered Rome.
Well, it was pretty hard for me to take that as a mere historical reference... with all the ASSIMILATION (i.e. [Western] "civilization") talk.

And this is said with a straight face:
While, as late as the 1950s, black Americans were not integrated fully into our economy or society, they had been assimilated into American culture.

They worshipped the same God, spoke the same language, had endured the same Depression and war, listened to the same music and radio, watched the same TV shows, laughed at the same comedians, went to the same movies, ate the same foods, read the same books, magazines and newspapers, and went to schools where, even when they were segregated, they learned the same history.

We were divided, but we were also one nation and one people. Black folks were as American as apple pie...
Domestic Colonies -- subject, colonized... "conquered people". No wonder...

The Europeans just didn't do it right, huh Pat?

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