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The Suburbs Are Ticking... Why The Nihilism Of The Paris Riots Is Not A Political "Insurrection"

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Monday November 07, 2005 19:09author by Kay Velvet - The Glorious Revolutionary Federation of Fortune 500 Killers (M50/Blanchardstown Chapter)author address mmm skyscraper... i love you.author phone 666 Report this post to the editors

Re-branding of rioting by leftists solves nothing

An attempt to look at the Paris riots, with more questions than answers.

The last seven days have been interesting. Here at home there was a large gathering of union workers protesting against the casualisation of labour at Irish Ferries, who plan to lay off Irish workers and employ Eastern Europeans at lower wage rates in their place. In Argentina, demonstrators opposed to the exploitation of Latin America by multinationals clashed with riot cops at the FTAA summit, providing the now familiar unwelcome mat for Dubya. Undoubtedly the focus was on Paris however, as it entered its second week of rioting after two teenagers were electrocuted to death fleeing from police.

Already there is revisionism happening in left circles regarding the events of the last eleven days in the banlieues of Paris (and now further afield). Several commentators and newspapers in France have been drawing comparisons between the rioting in depressed districts of the city with the student and general strike in May/June 1968, while others sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and speaking up in favour of rights for Islamic communities in the aftermath of the War in Afghanistan have been calling it "the French Intifada". Both of these paralells are flawed. The soixante-huitards may have been involved in street clashes with the CRS, but these clashes had an explicit political dimension and statement behind them; and even the tactics used differ markedly from those on the streets of Paris now. Nobody is denying either that the situation of the mostly Black and Arab families is grim, but to suggest that it is equivalent to the oppression suffered by the people in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip is complete hyperbole.

What is happening at the moment in Paris is part of a continuum of mass urban riots, as opposed to organised political insurrections or direct actions, that have been a feature of Western city life for the past 50 years (and further beyond into the past, although the development of consumer society and the spread of the car as the main mode of transport mean that the rioters have different targets and tools to light up their fires with). Take your pick from a long list of urban meltdowns, from Watts 1965, Newark '67, Tampa '80, Brixton/Toxteth '81, Broadwater Farm '85, Los Angeles '92, Cincinnati 2001 - and these are just the ones that I can remember off the top of my head, and only in the English speaking world. Paris 2005 will become part of this timeline.

Regrettably in these urban riots, there is little hope or central message behind them, only decentralised nihilism and unfocused property damage committed by disenfranchised young (mostly male) people. In the wake of the Rodney King riots in 1992, similar revisionism was taking place, referring to the riots as a multiracial insurrection. The assault on Reginald Denny at the beginning of these riots was as brutal and racist as that of the four cops on King. Likewise in Paris it is hard to justify or defend the burning of public transport and local amenities such as a community centre or gym, or explain the political reasoning behind an elderly woman being splashed with petrol and set alight as she attempted to disembark a hijacked bus.

However, in the words of the Situationists (who were defending the looting and arson in Watts) "Let the sociologists bemoan the absurdity and intoxication of this rebellion. The role of a revolutionary publication is not only to justify the Los Angeles insurgents, but to help elucidate their perspectives, to explain theoretically the truth for which such practical action expresses the search." Perhaps these days it is the role of Indymedia articles and peer review to try and explain the actions of the Paris rioters in a radical, accurate, and passionate telling of truth.

One origin of this (and most) Western urban rioting is colonialism. Rich, imperialist, white countries happily preached about liberty, equality, land and brotherhood while going to town on their African pals, taking them for everything they were worth, practicing a level of violence much more intense than any burning of cars or bins. Post WWII when it wasnt so p.c. to be occupying other countries, eventually (after much political pressure from the people of the oppressed states themselves, rather than just collective guilt on the part of the Allies for mirroring the Nazis Lebenstraum policy) this resulted in the "Scramble to Get Out of Africa". Ghana became the first independent Black state in Africa in 1957, while the predominantly Arab nations of Morocco and Tunisia freed themselves from the yoke of French rule a year previously in 1956. Algeria followed suit in 1962 after a civil war.

Rather than repair the damage, imperial nations chose to indulge in neo-colonialism by holding on to strategic economic resources through private companies. So although the new independent African nations had political independence, their financial means to stabilise were removed, leading to the breakdown and corruption often associated with the continent today. Many of the colonial "subjects" had work and travel rights in their imperial parent, so they ended up there as economic refugees/migrants, possibly with a healthy measure of antipathy towards their hosts. The generation rioting on the streets are the children of the colonised.

Rather than accept these people as equals, apologise for and acknowledge enormous past mistakes during imperial terror campaigns, and legislate for the positive emancipation and "affirmative action" of integration into the host society, life continues much the same as before, as if nothing had happened. So, the colonial subjects will always be looked down on, ignored, or treated as an "other", outside the realm of "normal" life and society. This goes on for years and the separation continues. Whether its Africans in the USA, Pakistanis in the UK, Algerians in France, or the Aboriginals in Australia (who still have to suffer the indignation of being the other in their own country), the tension builds for years and years until one little spark sets it all off in an explosive orgy of anger, violence, and frustration. The refusal or denial to reach peaceful and meaningful resolution with the legacy of colonialism will come back and erupt in urban districts populated by the communities affected by it, regardless of which generation is dealing with the exclusion.

Another origin of the rioting is the trickle down effect of free market capitalism and globalisation. The fabric of the labour market has changed almost beyond recognition in most European countries since 1968. There are very few manufacturing and primary industry jobs remaining, many of which have relocated to the far East where labour is cheap, unregulated, and non-unionised. Rather than protect jobs with legislation, and work in tandem with the economies of the far east, successive states have allowed multinationals to up and leave at a whim. The effect of this move is felt on both sides of the world - in the richer West, whole communities built up around factories are instantly destroyed, while in the poorer East, workers are exploited to the point of death and the multinationals do not have to comply with environmental standards, polluting the immediate surroundings and beyond far more than previously.

These skilled manual labour jobs were traditionally occupied by French workers, but there was also space for the North African immigrants, as well as in auxiliary openings related to large scale production plants, such as catering, maintenance, transport, etc. With the disappearance of these jobs and the slide towards a service industry (which people with even slight language difficulties find it impossible to find a job in), it has slowly resulted in a scenario where large swathes of the population cannot and most likely will not find employment in the forseeable future. This bleak outlook builds up over time, and slides once strong family-based communities into drug abuse, petty theft, and other antisocial activity.

The self-immolation happening in Paris communities is a reflection of this despair and complete disbelief in the future. People simply dont care any more. When you have a job that values you as a person, and a family that cares for you and your friends, you generally dont gamble on it for a night of rioting with the risk of injury, arrest, or even death. This complete detachment from the concept of society is visible in the targets of the rioters. Left wing opportunist commentators can defend some of the targets such as police stations, car dealerships, and banks; but schools, local shops, buses and community centres which local residents associations doubtlessly fought long and hard for have also gone up in smoke and rubble. This type of anti-community vandalism regrettably is commonplace in poor districts of major cities - which the state is happy to let happen to a degree. When it spills into the more affluent suburbs, it is only then that the crackdown begins.

The fire that burns within the heart of the rioters will probably only be extinguished by a long spell of cold rain and winds. The government in France has made the repeated blinkered mistake of a law and order response, further fanning the flames of anger. Based on previous examples of such urban rioting, there will be state committees set up to investigate the causes behind it, but nothing will really change. The rioters arrested will not be shown any leniency, and in five years time when they are released from prison, their rage will burn just as brightly as before. They will not be able to secure employment due to a criminal conviction, and their children will learn of this heady time in exalted tones, as something to look up to, to garner respect from. The cycle continues.

The net result of the Paris riots will not be some mass proletarian consciousness awakening and sudden crystallisation into a political movement - because "the left" is for the most part fractured in urban areas and simply not present on the ground. The nihilism of the rioting is born of hate and desperation, and into the eye of the storm (or the calm after) steps political movements which seek to exploit and benefit from this deep emotion. This can range from both the extreme and mainstream right wing, promising protection to the scared white neighbourhoods, to religious fundamentalism, which elevates a social struggle into a completely different, celestial battle - only offering a way out through the misery of further violent conflict or even complete self-destruction with the promise of salvation and pleasure in "the next world". In the context of current global geopolitics, this seems the inevitable next step in France for the immigrant communities, sadly drawing in young people into the trenches of the War on Terror. Religious fundamentalism (of any stripe) ultimately is destined to repeat centuries-old disharmony with its dogma and chronic monolithic view of the world.

What can progressive movements do during and after these riots? One (perhaps foolhardy) option is to organise and jump in at the deep end, engaging in the confrontations and aiming the destruction at more 'legitimate' targets of capital, such as those attacked during large summit mobilisations - and issuing communiques afterwards explaining your actions. This is not opportunistic, rather an action that lies in the roots of the belief that revolution can happen at any time, so now is as good as any to make it your own. Another, perhaps more palatable and less dangerous action is to organise solidarity marches with and in the communities perpetrating and affected by the violence - not afterwards when it cools down, but now. This means talking with people on the ground, engaging in a long and difficult time of community work, organising prisoner and legal support, and exploring long, hard answers that stretch beyond the usual realms of sloganeering/rhetoric and cliched "activism" within a closed circle.

Whatever the outcomes of the rioting, let us not try to re-label it as some sort of serious conscious political uprising, or manipulate the destruction of working class areas and amenities as being a positive development. Mature and responsible questions and actions will hopefully lead to long term, intelligent answers, rather than perpetuating the misery and despondency of huge sections of French society. The pressure has been building up for years, and now that it has all exploded in a juissance of fire, a magical solution isnt going to materialise overnight in amongst the debris of cars and bins.

Can you spot the difference...
Can you spot the difference...

author by Joepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Statements on these events in French, English and Arabic can be found from French anarchist groups at

Related Link: http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1661
author by royale with cheesepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ronald isnt too happy with last night.

Chargrilled hamburgers
Chargrilled hamburgers

author by iosafpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 13:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that its what comes before or afterwards that is political. The actual moments of "kale borroka" aren't that political at all, thats just when kids lose a run of the reins and go burn the street. You can see politics in the run up to a "demonstration" or the mood of a crown assembled outside a police station where someone has died in custody. But there is precious little politics in the moments someone sets fire to your local phone kiosk, because the next day and next week you don't have a phone. Likewise bins, bus shelters, buses, post boxes all of it.

Poor people in Paris and elsewhere in France need their services restored
:- buses, telephone kiosks, rubbish bins, and many need to pay for cars which were not 100% their own.

Playing the very dangerous game of "political conspiracy organisation" will not help them in that, discovering bomb factories, stating the bloody obvious "they could shoot us as we could them".

If elements on any "hard" left or right want to enter the street fun now, that can only be to manipulate the political end.
But for starters I just want those people to have their buses, their wheely bins, their big street drop bins, their public phone kiosks, their bus shelters, and all their usual street furniture back. & improved on for the first.

if not, then great injustice is about to be done the poorest of Paris and France's cities.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Although I agree with you that these riots don't look like they're being co-ordinated by some ideology I'm suspicious about the suggestion that unless there's a pompous manifesto to go with it then an action is not political. I'm also suspicious about the idea that the lumpenproletarians don't have a conscious desire to change specific things and recognise that their most rational actions involve surviving and rioting when they can. I wonder how much we outsiders can really know about this. I'm also reminded of sitting with tenured radicals at a dinner party during the Battle for Seattle and listening to them ridicule the "troublemakers". "What are they rioting for? What's the point of property destruction. When /we/ rioted during Vietnam we were protesting a WAR!".

AFAIK the Los Angeles 1992 riots /were/ multiracial. They've been portrayed as black-hate reverse-racism riots in certain sections of the press and by certain historians, with a specific accusation that Koreans were targetted. This appears to be untrue.

Certainly if you look at the arrests over 52% of those arrested were Latino, 10% were white and the remaining 36% were African-American [1]. The rioting mostly occurred in Latino and Asian areas [2]. The supposed targetting of Korean stores was a result of the fact that the only luxury goods (eg liquor, electronics and clothes) stores in African-American neighbourhoods were owned by Koreans. (Racist lending policies by banks favoured lending to "hard working" Koreans resulting in few black-owned businesses). Korean stores that did not sell these types of items (e.g. beauty parlours) were not destroyed.

1.Mike Davis _Ecology of Fear_ pg.371

2. William Webster _The City in Crisis_, Appendix. October 1992, Los Angeles. Cited in [1] above as footnote 19 in section 7.

author by eeekkkkkpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 18:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

saying the riots are not political imo is like saying the brixton riots were not political

they were a reaction in extremisis to racist policing - 'suss laws' - and were effective in drawing attention to a problem that was largely ignored because ift affected a politically and economically disenfranchised minority

similarly these ones

same tactics as recent loyalist rioting in belfast too

they were politcal

widespread violent rejection of a model of policing by disenfranchised youth is very very political

It may not be the best or most efficient political methodology to wreck your own area but despite obvious negative effects it does work.

the concerns of these youth are now planetary news and in those terms the political effectiveness of their actions cannot be denied.

all the campaigning ,marching lobbying in the world would not achieve that.

Denying in analysis the possibility of the existence of a self -generated political motivation to those who are young perhaps undereducated most likely poor is cultural snobbery rather than analysis imo.

This snobbery shades into and gives credibility more malicious suprematist ideas - the right wing media all over the place tries to portray the multi racial french youth involved in this series of events as sub-political zombie drones for shadowy fundamentalists and criminal masterminds.

author by xpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 18:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The context of them may be political - in that respect then every single thing that happens, ever, is political. But they are not polticised protests. And they do not result in the birth of growth of political movements or change.

Look at L.A. or even Brixton as mentioned above. Did Brixton become a hotbed of political radicalism in the wake of 1981? Did it fuck. And the problems that ignited the riots then were evident again in what was it, 1994 or 95 when the exact same thing happened all over again. Los Angeles, ten years on, hasnt changed - how many years until the next big one.

I can understand the sentiment but cant defend people destroying their own community. Never. The 'youths' on the streets of Paris are demanding the head of Sarkozy (sp.?) on a plate - why dont they march into his neighbourhood and burn that down instead? Because they know they'd be shot on sight - so instead pick the easy targets in their own arondissement.

These riots are of a particular time and place - and I think occur when an urban community becomes almost completely detached from any _meaningful_ political activity. I get R Isible's point about Seattle and each political circle failing to understand the methods, but I dont recall the Black Bloc there smashing up schools, community centres, etc.

As iosaf points out, the actions of the rioters by burning out the bins and buses will mean that an isolated community will lack essential public resources for several weeks. How has this action benefitted the community there in any way? I dont buy that "beneficial media glare" argument - when this is all over the media spotlight will move on to something else (including posts on indymedia) and the people in the banlieues will be more fucked than ever.

author by ttpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... would it not be the dream of many a young lad or lass to actually get the chance to burn out their school? Yippeee! Non??

author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 19:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. Immediately the cops (illegally) handed over anyone without papers to "la migra", certainly several thousands. 2. The "liberals" became concerned about and interested in /black/ disenfranchisement and put a little bit of money into community redevelopment through projects fronted by people like Magic Johnson (basketball star). This resulted in things like Starbucks in poor black areas. Although many of us will be horrified at this idea a lot of people were proud to have a nice looking place in their neighbourhood where they could get a cup of coffee (no matter how shit) and maybe a job (no matter how shit). Meanwhile the overall problems built into the structure remain there, and yes, it would have been better (as M.Moore pointed out in _Stupid White Men_) if they'd trashed Beverly Hills. But /their/ neighbourhood was shit before and slightly better after. The idea that the shithole that you're forced to live in is /your/ neighbourhood in the same way that a chosen, gated, greenly luscious suburb is /your/ neighbourhood doesn't compute. There are immediate benefits to rioting (if you survive) in many situations. It makes cops a lot more careful. You get new buildings. You get media concern. It was shit before. It might be a bit better after.

author by joepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 19:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

TIMES OF INDIA : In the first disturbing assertion that a European country and its capital can be brought to a halt by the massed forces of Islamist militants both within and outside its borders, French police warned there was evidence they had played a role in inciting vandals, albeit "not on the front lines."

In fact, one can read blogs on certain websites inciting other cities to join the movement of the Parisian region."

In what many commentators believe is the deadly downside of the 'information revolution', Paris police intelligence sources said they feared the Internet was triggering a domino effect across the country.

not them

Related Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1286278.cms
author by Anonymous - nonepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 21:36author address noneauthor phone noneReport this post to the editors

One good effect of the LA Riots was that it, plus the end of the cold war, depressed property values in LA. Some landlords pulled out of the poor areas, giving people who lived in the area an opportunity to buy houses and small apartment buildings. While not anything more than a petit bourgeois transfer of capital at discount prices, it was a transfer from wealthier people to laborers.

So, it's bad, but it's good. Rioters give the parasitical upper classes a good scare, causing them to release their capital.

author by paris brulepublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 22:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The riots wicked...

1)no middle class people involved whatsoever (well accept on the pig side)

2)totally decentralised and naturally based on affinity group idea(certainly no thanx to our poxy little pamphlets, (small highly mobile gangs of youth)

3)hit and run urban warfare tactics (ambushing the cops and minimal outright confrontation with heavily tooled up CRS)

4)no long winded political ideology bullshit just the basics, fuk the cops, fuk the US, fuk sarkozy, fuk working for peanuts, fuk the war on terror. . . . all the rght ideas

5)action over words

6)it is shit that loads and loads of the property destroyed belongs to poor and working class peopl, and the immediate effect of the riots will proably be to make a lot of people's lives a misery.

7)but I suppose for all our talk of anarchy and revolution, throughout history and probly the future revolutions and uprisings will be violent and unpleasant and they wont be smooth and whatever

How the riots have continued for this long is something else, having had a taste of the CRS they are so fuking violent...its shocking


la pouvoir est dans la banlieux!

la feu marche avec. . . . . .

author by D'Otherpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 22:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From the start it's interesting the way so many commentators and pundits have been attempting to label these riots as an Islamist insurrection in the heart of the west, with all the usual platitudes about the clash of civilisations. But didn't sections of the media report a few days ago that Islamic organistions were placing their young male members in between rioters and police in an attempt to quell the distrubances? It didn't work, so I really haven't got too much truck with the idea that the violence is emerging from some Islamic elements in the communities, but this is not to deny that it could be the result of increasing racism in France. Its just peculiar to to the post 9-11 political landscape that these events are placed in the context of religous disturbances rather than linked to the disturbances of the 1994. R.Isible has also rightly pointed out that history has a funny way of trying to sideline disturbances like the LA Riots by dressing them up as an inter -racial conflict rather than focussing on the social and economic tensions driving them.

The story which started discussion on this thread is probably one of the more considered responses to the events I've come across so far. but it makes a rather basis mistake; in seeing no apparent overt political motive for the disturbances it rushes to dismiss them as some irrational response to a variety of factors. Its the old riot driven by hunger routine, where the actors involved in the rioting are given no thought. At this stage its too soon to try and figure out what social networks and forms of organistions have been involved in these riots, and what role or not they may have in future conflicts. It's just unwise to dismiss these rioters because they do not wear the drab of the old workers movement or the kids of '68.

A point well worth noting from the other article though is the absolute failure of the left to offer any semblance of thought on what is going on here. Indymedia france seems equally slow off the mark.

author by iosafpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 23:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

then they're not responsible?

author by John Brown Book Clubpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 23:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A materialist approach does not have to "rebrand" anything--just look at the reality.

The riots perfeclty demonstrate the class/national structure of the imperialist countries and where exploitation and oppression really exist. Notice the absence of franco-phone Euros in the riots. And what about that EU constitution vote?

Of couse all this is very far from Trot ravings about World Revolution.

I agree with a previous poster, All this is VERY political and it has been brewing for decades along with the rise and fall of outright French colonialism and the continured rise of French imperialism and its labor aristocracy allies--well reprresented by the 57% of the population that want more repression.

Neither Trot ravings nor social democratic tut-tuting and hand wringing is a proper analyis of this rebellion against national oppression.

The only viable answer to ending national oppression is revolutionary nationalism. The labor aristocracy in the imperialist countries will continue to fight for their own economic interests, interests that are tied to imperialism. But oppressed nations, both within imperialist-country borders and in the Third World, have a strong interest in fighting against imperialism. It is the anger of these youth in France and the people of the world that can be transformed into revolutionary strength.

Related Link: http://mimnotes.info
author by D'otherpublication date Mon Nov 07, 2005 23:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a question: do you think it is possible to draw a parrallel between these disturbances and prison riots? In that both exert a terrible violence against facilities the rioters are dependent on after the disturbances settle.

author by Haroldpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 01:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The excuses for such actions are various but the underlying theme is economic repression. The Corporation is the bourgeoisie. We all suffer even in the suburbs. Certainly the more affluent have their toys but all they need to practice is the "Golden Rule". No miracles are required it is just not practiced.
Burning cars just makes more sales just like the
'Chickenlittle' bird Virus that sells more drugs to big pharmacy.

author by dotpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 01:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In a prison and, from what I read here and elsewhere the French riots, are generally a manner of reclaiming space. By removing authority from a physical space for a period of time you challenge the right of a single actor to lay sole claim and authority over that space.

So of course it is political - even if it is not articulated. By their actions they are creating a political space based on their (temporary / potential) control of physical space. It is likely, as iosaf warns, that they will be swept aside in the rush to lay claim to this political power they are creating. But while it is happening, solidarity.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 04:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And more than half of them under 18. The government is promising more training for jobs and better housing.

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,11882,1636656,00.html
author by mortopublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 05:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we all know what the fucking "political" issues are. they are the same everywhere. the upswell of popular hatred against the global hell system is now exploding in the streets of france by the very people who are getting the worst end of the deal.

do we really require them to print up some pamphlet telling us this? we all know. analysis and articulation is something we can do after the fact. we've been very articulate and analytical since '68 and where has it got us? the system is still here and the exploitation and destruction are worse and worse.

it's time to take our heads out of our asses! the so-called "l.a. riots" of '92 WERE multi-racial. i've talked to people who were participants in it. it spread to cities all over the u.s. and up to toronto in canada.

none of these insurgents required political analysis either. they saw the system burning and they jumped at the chance to try to bring it down. obviously some were more "aware" (whatever the fuck that means) than others. the only reason the '92 riots didn't spread to more towns and cities was because communication was more limited.

now with the tools of the internet and cell phones and other communications gadgets (and i'm not defending any of these technologies, only saying that they are tools to be used right now), we can spread this insurrection to communities all over europe and north america. they, too, are ready to blow.

the question is: are you ready? are you really ready
to bring down the system of death or do you want to sit and argue theory and tactics for another generation?

author by stop this madness nowpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"the question is: are you ready? are you really ready
to bring down the system of death or do you want to sit and argue theory and tactics for another generation?"

What the hell does that mean?
Are you completely fucking insane?
Thugs are going wild burning innocent people's cars, property and terrorising them night after night in hundreds of towns throughout France.
Is this the new "system"?

author by zpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"the question is: are you ready? are you really ready to bring down the system of death or do you want to sit and argue theory and tactics for another generation?"

Are you suggesting that people become involved in rioting just because its happening? That the theory behind it is inconsequential? Sorry, but I dont readily identify with every clash with authority and property destruction - or every "revolution". I'll pick my time and place - and poltical cause and reaons - to become involved.

The Ulster Workers Council strike in 1974 was one of the biggest workers mobilisations on this island for decades and paralysed the state. Should I have supported that? Or the rioting in Birmingham recently - where Asian teenagers walked around a neighbourhood tooled up with knives and bats, to "reclaim the streets" in their own words. Fascists also hate the cops and would love to see parts of immigrant neighbourhoods in Paris burn the exact way they're burning now. Just because it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck doesnt necessarily make it a duck.

This strikes me as the sort of childish backing practised by the likes of the Green Anarchist paper. Every single conflict against the Police and property damage is a good thing and a revolutionary act - no matter how mindless or depoliticised it is. So you had them putting stuff in their diary of actions like people going on the rampage after a football match defeat or smashing windows during a Spring Break! drunken dickhead melee. No fucking thanks. I'd rather wait until something positive and meaningful happens - then I'll be standing there on the front line. Until then, count me out of burning my own community resources down to the ground; in fact I'd probably be one of the people protesting against it happening (do you support that march of a thousand people five days ago, calling for the stopping of the violence, as the wishes of the community?)

author by iosafpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Night before last the border pyrennes town of Perpignan saw 5 cars burnt, with a history of inter-ethnic conflict through the summer as rival gangs of gypsies, "locals" and maghrebi migrants clashing it came as no surprise. The Madrid based rightwing daily squawked that "the hooligans" are at the gates of españa, ironically as the catalans claim perpignan as their own, and have lobbied for the language to be recognised their (which it is) they also got to squawk in their media that "the marginalised" were at the gates of Catalonia. Then last night nothing.

Instead, cars were burnt in both Germany and Belgium. Both Luxembourg and Switzerland have this morning seem their newspapers concur that trouble is unlikely to hit them, without saying why. There is something interesting in that.

So the solution seems now to allow local mayors, of which there are many thousands to decide to call a curfew. Wee Willy Winkie gets to check the streets and ensure the kids are washed, have said their prayers, done their homework, and are indoors and in bed. If not, they'll get arrested, or shot at.

Curfew is a very "heavy" imposition of any state's authority, especially in peace-time. No goverment can allow or even talk about curfew without admitting that the contract between government & state and governed has altered. Curfew means that many kids who in the last weeks have done nothing, are now punished as well. It is not unreasonable to argue that many children these last weeks in France, had something worthwhile to do, playing sport, practising music, attending extra-school classes as just a few examples.

Are "good" parents to be expected to write their offspring "notes" for the police who have been drafted in to patrol the streets? When will "curfew" end? What damage to integration will be caused by the unfair imposition of curfew? Will night clubs, sports facilities, music and dance classes suffer?
Will all mayors be trustworthy in the application of this draconian law? Will a socialist mayor treat curfew differently to a FN mayor? Will sending a whole generation "home" for a season really help them to integrate to French society? In years to come will these youngsters swap stories about "dodging the curfew"? Make no mistake, "curfew" is a word which sends shivers down the spines of many older people in both Europe and needless to say the Americas. More than a few grand-parents remember their trysts, and normal adolescent "time-out" being spoilt by army or police, and the beatings they received for breaking curfew. And it comes to be seen as an injustice and is never forgotten.

In short, this "curfew" may only work, if at the same time the residents of France's poorest neighbourhoods may look out their nocturnal prison windows and see new buses, new bins, new telephone kiosks, new bus-shelters, new facilities being restored. Otherwise, the "curfew" is a sad attempt to brush "trouble" and "troublemakers" together with "innocents" under the carpet of police control and implied brutality.

No buses & 8pm = Go to Jail! No bins & 9pm = Go to Jail! No chance no community = Go to Jail! Come play the sarkozy monopoly & Go to Jail.
No buses & 8pm = Go to Jail! No bins & 9pm = Go to Jail! No chance no community = Go to Jail! Come play the sarkozy monopoly & Go to Jail.

author by eeekkkkpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 13:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that the curfew which really is what's called a state of emergency is being implemented under a law which I believe from bits and pieces of reading was previously used in algerial when it was still a colony to try to halt a generalised uprising there.

If 'head shooting' (which is in increasing demand from the hard right in france) starts under cover of this 'curfew' (which it would have already if the youth had taken this protest outside their own areas) the prospects are grim indeed.

1000's of severe jail sentences will have much the same effect as a few 'head shootings'.

author by iosafpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the law is "loi 3 avril 1955" or its full name : "loi n°55-385 du 3 avril 1955" and was passed 7 april 1955.

It empowered the french state of emergency in Algeria. It has since been modified by the assembly on the 16th of june 2000.

the whole thing is available for legal eagles to read here :- http://libe.com/page.php?Article=336694

Make no mistake this is utterly unfair, and rubbishes attempts made by educators in these areas to improve the chances of these young people through night classes (as I just wrote above) but also it will penalise families and individuals who work.

& there is a large percentage of young people from these areas who do work at night. & the money they bring into their households is needed. Look around Dublin's westside and ask how would a curfew effect society there if imposed.

Unsurprisingly the leftwing papers have today sought out teachers and sport-trainers who are against the implications of these measures. A generation is about to suffer where marginalised communities are already suffering. & as of yet no-one has talked about replacing the burnt bins or phones only about the possibility of losing tourists. And Blair has weighed in with advice on ASBOs to boot...

author by eeeekkkkkkpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

from the guardian:

"Mr de Villepin added that the government aimed to give more funds to community associations, accelerate housing renovation, offer individual attention to jobseekers, and ensure France's education was better suited to the needs of the suburbs, by offering apprenticeships from age 14 for those failing at school, and scholarships to those succeeding. "We have to offer hope," he said."

I still (more than yesterday) really think these 'youth' are a self organising political constituency. No-global loves it's rabble tech mode of political organisation but it's often little more than an aesthetic.

These kids ARE taking it beyond an aesthetic. They are using the TV to talk to each other and their phones to redo the commentary over a long period of time now.

The state from the numbers of detained (under what conditions?) is pretty much reduced to a form of internment from what I've read.

Can I say 'derry young hooligans' without getting shouted down as a way of thinking about this from here? It is a protest against sectarianism in quite a clear way.

Reminds me also after a bit of consideration of the way in which a fire in Brixton (?) in which a lot of black youth (10+) were killed (around era of leadup to stardust fire in ireland) led pretty directly to this kind of thing fundamentally because the death of kids in questionable circumstances went unacknowledged in any way by the british state.

Some enterprising imcers in france should be making us a version of the 'Brixton tapes'.

http://limina.arts.uwa.edu.au/past_volumes/volumes_15/volume_4?f=73960

author by iosafpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 14:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A nigerian blogger reported and translated into the catalan press today, http://www.vilaweb.com/www/noticia?p_idcmp=1603324 insists that the french riots are the same only "more intense and noticed" than current urban conditions in the UK. Meaning, that cars, bins, bus-shelters are burned everywhere.
& occasionally there's a spate. Vosges last weekend saw cars burnt, got on TV immediately, same time the local neo-nazis desecrated the jewish cemetry, took a few days to get into the news. We know that young fascist kids in France desecrate cemetries, they do it all the time, and come holidays annually you can trace their progress across the continent.
no curfew, no police response.

I've been looking at the council sites of the affected areas, Clichy sous bois, is about half the size of Urbana Illinois (our useful little benchmark) or if we want to keep it local, Clichy has the pretty much the same population density as east belfast. The council are comitted to the "republican" ideal of integration and equality. Thus on a nightly basis, people (like myself) go out there to teach sports and music. I did two years of this, in a high density series of estates outside of BCN, the most dense in the iberian peninsula, very similar to the areas in france we're talking about. It was there, teaching music and getting kids to aggresively hit things and dance that I witnessed their (and by implication) their parents response to March 11. And even if they were mostly "migrants" (to catalonia) their self-perception as such and their approach to others was alarmingly prejudiced. I remember telling you all how the local kids (who didn't do sport or music at night) beat a moroccan to death March13th 2004 as "revenge". No amount of messing with a sound desk, rapping into a microphone or tootling on saxaphone by the "good kids" (and i don't think they were angels) was going to stop that. But it does make it better for those who would never dream of doing it.

These kids need ways out of their marginalisation.
The imposition of curfew will mean that those classes stop. And those who give them, will be removed from those youngsters, will further be confirmed in their eyes as "others" as belonging to a different set of rules, a different set of "you may and you may not" prejudices. A curfew only closes the door more on the cage.

I agree with many on the French left, including most prominently at the moment the main unions and the green party, that emergency powers is not the way to go. Today's "new look" Le monde, has a round-up of the blogs it trust, noting that several have been stopped in the lastweek. The Media plays and has played a huge role in spreading the unrest by acknowledging it, and unwittingly "raising the stakes".

Every night young people attack others in Britain, or Germany there are areas where shopping malls are filled with "hooded" horrors, ( I sound like the daily mail) and thats the "ASBO story", but in france there is a "drawing all this together" into a "crises" on TV. It takes three minutes to burn a carpark, and with the right attitude from the "state" (which wants you as an enemy) your local area is on telly, you have "credibility" in certain web or sms text nihilist circles, and the nefarious plans for future hooliganism might be made...

I'm a liberal. Give 'em more music classes, more sports, more fun, new bins, new buses, the best wheelie bins in Europe, the best facilities and keep giving them such, even though they damage them at first, soon enough they *will* stop and as a long temr investment its not much. Its a case of sending them the "Dunk & seomra spraoi" effect.That would sort it all out in a jiffy, "real politics for real people".

author by eeekkkkpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 14:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Posted by TAFKABO on Nov 07, 2005 @ 08:20 PM: More at link



"For those who don’t know, I live in one of the suburbs affected by the rioting.
It has caused me no little amount of dismay to see the riots being labelled “Islamic riots” or being interpreted as some kind of militant Islamic uprising, when in fact they are pretty much as described above.Namely the inevitable result of long term economic neglect and racist policies and attitudes of the police force.
They are not race riots in the sense that you do not see one ethnic group pitted against another, the parts of the suburbs labelled “ghettoes” are economic ghettoes, not racially segregated ones.
Neither is it the case that all the suburbs are chronically disadvantaged, the area where I live is lower middle class and full of well to do leafy streets and expensive houses.

From my own perspective the present trouble ought to be laid fairly and squarely at the feet of Sarkozy.
Though the trouble was obviously simmering under the surface and waiting to happen, he played a dangerous game by talking tough about the suburbs.
With one eye on the Presidential elections in two years time he tried to play up to his nickname of Le Flic or The Cop by making a speech which, roughly translated said that the suburbs needed to be “bleached” clean.
Well this strategy has backfired on him, and then some.
Every person I have spoken to wants the violence to stop, but they also understand and empathise with the young people involved.
It ought to be noted that rather than encouraging the violence, just about every Islamic organisation has called for the violence to stop, though one would be hard pressed to get this message from the disgraceful media coverage over the last ten days or so.

This trouble started with the death of two young lads on the run from the police.My own opinon is that it will take some more deaths before people stand back and decide that enough is enough. "

Related Link: http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/what_is_happening_in_paris/
author by Gearoidpublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The riots are the expression of disenfranchisement and alienation of the youths of the suburbs of Paris. Ignored for so long by the State and the left which still refers ot third and fourth generation youths as Les Imigrees.

This does not mean that the riots are the proper tactic but neither are they to be condemned. They are not, the as the anarchist middle class who can walk away from the riots when they want think the way forward. However they do serve purpose of highlighting the reality of the French State. I am reminded of the Phil Ochs song about similiar riots in the 1960s in the US

So Long, So Long We've been done too long
And we had to make somebody listen.

That purpose they serve. Let the middle class anarchist kids who will have good lawyers to defend them put forward other strategies.

author by Amic dels Pobles - la brigade des Ben bellapublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And now, the weather.

grim outlook for areas shaded white with new fronts opening on all sides
grim outlook for areas shaded white with new fronts opening on all sides

author by infographiepublication date Tue Nov 08, 2005 20:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you can get an idea of the width and breadth of the coverage if you goto french primetime TV news here, then you can prepare your debates, counterdebates, and meanwhile try brushing up on your french for the interviews you'll no doubt want to do. Sigificantly the affected areas are now jargonised as "sensitive urban zones". This is curious, it is sign of "a-priori" assessment as not all of the banlieu, or non-Parisien urban centres have displayed matching profiles. And interestingly just because a urban area meets this profile, doesn't mean that urban area will experience the sort of disturbances we have seen.
Many people in Ireland might miss the sheer scale of Paris, a city which houses more people than London, though both generally compete in a certain status of "world city", London is a "commuter working base" and every night its population halves.
Whereas the total population (meaning how many living bodies are in the area) doesn't really fluctuate. Those who work there, live there, those who don't work, live there as well, and now as we see in the illustration those who don't work much or for long live there too..,
http://info.france2.fr/violences-banlieues/

Precarity, beautiful word, it entered the english language in the last few years after a trans-atlantic debate had raged (amongst writers, dictionary type, etymologists, and interpreters). You will find very little coverage of these events in Illinois, but if you did, the key word if it were used would be "precariousness". I digress-
Precarity was identified by the left of france at party political level, trade union level, and social assembly level when De Villepin came to power and the EU constitution was rejected as being one of 4 principle problems, [...which if left ignored would see feelings of injustice turn to (?) riot]. The other 3 were -
unemployment density, prospects for youth & social security. (c/f http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=72821 ) RTE are happily confining their critical interest at this point to the small measures which De Villepin announced this afternoon to adress the 4 points.

I suppose squeezed in there is "new wheely bins".

Meanwhile, curfew has been called again for this evening, the first was last night in a parisien "senstive ghetto slum" at 22h00. Tonights I can confirm 9 are also for 22h00.

They have 2 time of writing - less than 2 hours to stop whatever it is teenagers used to do before we noticed them. Wee Willy Winkey is coming and he has a water cannon.

from left to right - dole benefits - poor families - single parent families - less than 20 years
from left to right - dole benefits - poor families - single parent families - less than 20 years

author by wee willy winkiepublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 00:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is the lucky city to be first to call a curfew for all under 16 year olds. They are not allowed to circulate unaccompanied by an adult (at least) after 22h00 today, till "further notice".
Amiens is not really a typical "sensitive urban area", but its mayor, Brigette Fouré has still decided to apply law 3 april 1955, because every bit of rightous action has its effect.
Well we all hope that Amiens, so far un-molested by marginalised fathomless nihilist callejera violence associated with dire poverty and the plentitude of foreign accents will find trustworthy adults to accompany their kids of the crucial age group 16-18.

The aftermath of this month of France's history
will smell worse than the burning bins.

The last commentator was right. You'd expect the government "to go" in other republican countries. Thing is I can't think of any other republican country.

author by Tiamatpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 05:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I cannot assume to know exactly why France is burning, but I have to comment that a key issue has been missed by all of the posters to this thread.

I live in Long Beach, a city that was heavily involved in the 92' LA riots and the discussion about the occuring Riots in France are disturbingly simmilar.

This is the essesntial question that everyone seems to be afraid to ask - why would pepole burn down their own neighborhoods? As in LA in 92, the fires burn in the Poor communities. That is fact!

The only answer to this question that I can see is to finally come to terms with conceptualizing the term "nothing to loose" and couple this with a deep hatred of the TOTALITY OF MODERN INDUSTRIAL LIFE.

I will suppose that something deep within us boils up in occurences such as these. The cities burn because pepole see them as having no intrinsic value nor usefulness to their survival. Essentially, it is at these points in time that the veil vanishes and humanity understands its captivity and hopelessness in the Civilized Industrial Prison.

The current Techno-Industrial system, whether it is run by socialists, democrats, greens, or anarcho-syndicalists, holds no future worth looking towards.

This may be the essence of the 92' riots in LA and those occuring now in France. It is a rejection of the toality of the current set up, and a leap of faith into the abyss.

It might be our only hope

author by observerpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 09:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cop on. Do you think the rioters are burning their own cars, homes and amenities?

They are not. They are doing what anti-social scum everywhere do - they are destroying the property and amenities of their neighbours and making their lives more miserable than they already are. Death to the thieves.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Watch the video to see the anti-social scum jumping from cars and firing plastic bullets at French citizens.

This is supposed to have been the first weekend - after the peaceful march on the Saturday and in the run up to the gassing of the mosque.

"We were coming out of the mosque, the police surrounded us, Flash balls in their fists. They separated us, but what shocked us more was that they targetted the mothers coming out from prayers and began to insult them: "Get out of here you bunch of whores, and keep a better eye on your kids"

"They (the police) were fired up, they provoked us more. The brother of one of the dead boys was with us, as usual, at the bottom of his block when the police arrived, with their flashballs (rifle firing rubber bullets) and started to look us up and down, ending up by saying 'go back home to your mother.' He took three steps towards the cops to talk to them, one of the two cops said to him: 'stop or I'll set you on fire" We ran away to the 10th floor, They started firing gas bombs into the hall"

Related Link: http://www.afrik.com/IMG/mov/Keufs_1.mov
author by iosafpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As we have seen we've all now discussed "Why The Nihilism Of The Paris Riots Is Not A Political "Insurrection".

And we were all very clever & informed. no doubt about it. Now that the mayors of the Paris region, Strasbourg, Lille, Nice, Marseille, Rouen, Toulouse, Dijon, Le Havre, have all followed Amien's Brigette Fouré in deciding to use the "loi 3 april 1955". Chirac as "great wee willy winkie" has decreed that the emergency period will last for 12 days more. We are now in an "experimental period" which will either see the riots continue for a total of 25 days or stop.

But only Amien for some unfathomable reason is enforcing the curfew for the whole night. (Its a bit like Stillorgan imposing a blanket curfew because cars were burnt in the blanch.)

we might move into a new topic :-

"Why the criminalisation of french teenagers after the Paris rioters is a political oppression"

Last night despite these curfew restricitions in 25 districts & please note that Savigny-sur-Orge and Le Raincy in Paris , as well as the city of Orleans, have already declared separate curfews _not covered by the law_ the trouble didn't really stop or decrease notably, even if the media would like to think it did.

An example of additional restrictions being used in the prefectures of Val-de-Marne, l'Heraut and Eure-et-Loirthere is the prohibition of petrol sales to minors or un-identified adults. & one would have thought a 13 year old can buy as much petrol as they can afford, "for their school projects".

FACT :- The trouble did not decrease when daily adjustments are taken into consideration.

Since the beginning trouble has been worst at the weekend. Friday to Sunday are the really hot days, midweek is calmer. Curfew or not. Last night was worse than last tuesday and trouble was more widespread.

In fact, there has been more "callejera" than at any previous 13 nights in the following districts:-

Tolosa de Llenguadoc, Marseilles, Nice and Bordeaux.

author by dunkpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 18:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

find out more about the riots at
vid and radio on democracy now
http://www.democracynow.org/
-As France Uses Colonial-Era Law To Impose Curfews, a Look at the Plight of Immigrant Youth in Europe
and
-The Roots of Civil Unrest in Europe: Robert Fisk and Behzad Yaghmaian on Post-Colonial Muslim and Arab Immigrants

timeline of events on wikipedia
-2005 civil unrest in France
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_civil_unrest_in_France

author by guffawpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 21:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_civil_unrest_in_France

do it. its provoked quite a stir & exposed the weakness of wikinews.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Nov 09, 2005 21:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sarkozy has said in TV interviews today, that he wants to deport all non-citizens arrested in the disturbances since October 28th.

And quite Mc Dowell like he has a list. According to TV france, he has requested that the prefectures process 120 foreigners for their part in the riots.

The legal argument is the right to expel a foreigner if "their presence poses a threat to order".
http://info.france2.fr/violences-banlieues/15570561-fr.php

Meanwhile, most european states are continuing to distance themselves from France, with many newspapers suggesting that what is really happening now is the long battle for the succession of Chirac.

I'm not sure our american friends at democracy now (as linked to by Dunk above) are going in the right direction when they talk about "the plight of europe's migrant youth". Because I can't see such over-arching similarities between any of the following states - France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, UK or Switzerland and the society they offer teenagers in teh age group 13-18 to live in. But maybe the americans know better.
And I also find it interesting that Fisk has trundled in, from Baghdad to Paris? Hmmmm. Is Sarkozy to deal the final death blow to Le Pen because of that appaling phrase "paris intifada"? Anyway, Dunk's links are interesting to get the atlantic view on all this, cheers dunk. One internet contributor (ISP US side) has spent the whole day editing the wikinews and wikipedia entry on the civil_unrest_in_France thing, substituting it for the article on masturbation. Quite a little bug.

Yes, maybe that would be the way forward. Tell the kids they're wankers...

The best of contemporary french thought then for the reader in these links, I think we've been taking it all a little too seriously :-
http://hermaphrodite.fr/breve382
http://www.reveil-des-marmottes.net/Site_Noute/Dossier_actus/250_Chirac_de_Villepin.htm
(a marmotte is like a squirrel but a gallic squirrel)

author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Nov 10, 2005 01:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I looked at the link to Wikinews coverage and it seemed far more comprehensive and informative than most of what's been in the media (which mostly focuses on the sensational immediate effects of the riots). I also read the Talk/Discussion and it seemed like the Wiki process was functioning very well although one person had tried to disrupt it.

author by iosafpublication date Thu Nov 10, 2005 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

at 04h00 local time the French police reported-

482 vehicles burnt
203 detained.
25 districts in curfew.

This compared with Tuesday night's report of
558 vehicles burnt
254 detained
25 districts in curfew

means : "a definite improvement!"

Belgium has reported yet more copycat efforts and last night saw at least 15 cars burnt, the worst night so far. (records on belgium began Nov. 7th) I suppose it was my bad luck to see the attacked wikipage four times in one hour, not that I was offended. I blame the "wee willy winkie world wide wibe effect" - the "wwwwwwe".

author by iosafpublication date Thu Nov 10, 2005 21:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Now for the "riots" to be ending, tonights tally must be significantly lower than last night. I'd like to remind everyone, that my previous suggestion that we move on to a new theme of consideration/discussion quickly.

"the criminalisation of france's youth is a political act"

& in preparation for that I have spent much of this afternoon examining the "form" of no less than 9 urban districts, which all boast "sensitive urban areas" who _refused_ to use Loi 2 Avril 1955.

In the words of one mayor, "I can not use this law, it is unjust and offense to my community as to the nation. I prefer dialogue with parents and established community groups".

I've been interested to see how many "flashpoints" are not prepared to use the DeVillepin decree, are arguing that the Chirac timetable is a nonsensical media driven time limit to properly address the true meaning of these riots, (=" you can forget all about them in 2 weeks") And most of all that Sarkozy's list of "foreign kids to be expelled" is truly racist decision designed to boost his poll ratings amongst traditional FN voters. & guess what? Sarkozy's poll ratings are the highest thanks to a boost amongst former or "floating" FN voters.

author by Rob Dowlingpublication date Thu Nov 10, 2005 22:11author email robdowling at hotmail dot frauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi there readers.
I'm a 32 year old Dubliner and I've been living in Paris for the past 3.5 years. I'd like to give you my predictions for how this situation is likely to pan out.
The first thing ALL readers have to bear in mind - this is very important - is that the present ministre de l'intérieure, M. Nicholas Sarkozy, is an astute political opportunist and remains the front-running candidate for the Presidential elections of 2007-2008. The position of Monsieur le Président de la Republique is a very powerful position, more unempeachable than the American President, with far more power than the British Prime Minister.
The second thing you all have to bear in mind is that Sarko is moving to the right because the dirty secret about this whole affair is that the French don't want any more immigrants from their former colonies (or elsewhere) because they can't offer them work or afford the social welfare payments. Thus this drama can only move in one direction - toward an extremely right-wing grass-roots movement across white france, by far the largest and most powerful politicial constituency.

Why are Sarko's remarks so far to the right?
If you ask this question, you don't know the
mainstream of French culture.

He complained that in the past La Police de Proximité (the local cops on the beat) were playing football with local youths instead of making arrests. He has the full backing of his constituency when he makes remarks such as these - this is why he makes them, so that he can become the next French President.

The youths say 2 things repeatedly
1 - Nique La Police (Fuck the Police)
2 - Sarkozy, démissionne (Sarkozy, resign)

When it becomes obvious to the youth of the banlieues that Sarko IS the Frech mainstrem, they will add, in the swan song of nihilism

3 - Nique les français

As we enter peak oil, France, like everywhere else, will experience recession after recession. On the employment opportunities front, things can ONLY get worse for the immigrants and everyone else. It is utterly inconceivable that the growing gap between the white French and the immigrants will diminish.

Au contraire, mes amis

author by red starpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- the uprising continues -
NEWSFLASH:
The 14th night of uprising in France is the 3rd night of burning cars in Belgium and Germany.
FRANCE
In some nights the uprising in France took place in more than 250 cities and towns. Yesterday again hundreds of cars burned.
Facts, numbers and analysis on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Paris_suburb_riots


GERMANY
SZ (Süddeutsche Zeitung) reports yesterday and today say that cars burned in those german cities:
-Berlin (Berlin Moabit - low income district, very high unemployment)
- Bremen (also an old school building was set on fire)
- Chemnitz
- Wismar
- Düsseldorf
- München

BELGIUM
since about 3 nights cars burn in Brussels. Last night was the first night that cars also burned in other cities in Belgium (SZ, yahoo news.)

author by Con Carroll - Class-Warpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

solidarity greetings to African, Arab youth in France
should we be surprised?
when people are politically alienated conscious arises.
People who because of their culture and color of skin,who have been condemed to live in poverty because of their class. stopped and searched, will not take it lying down.
remember Malcolm X words about education

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

at 04h00 French local time the police reported:
463 vehicles burnt
203 arrests.
7 police officers reported injured.

a reduction from Wednesday's 482 vehicles.
but the same number of arrests, and increase in police injuries.

Belgium continues.

This is a holiday weekend in France to mark the 87th year Armistice day.

It is also one year since Yasser Arafat of the real intifida was buried, he had died in a French hospital.

author by redjadepublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 20:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

go to
http://www.livejournal.com/users/jacobito/15704.html

includes:
• 1763 - Anti-Irish Riots, (Covent Garden, England)
• 1834 - Anti-Abolitionist Riot, (New York City, New York, USA)
• 1841 - Whig Party Riot, (Washington, D.C., USA)

and hundreds more

author by iosafpublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

at 00h00 French local time the police reported:
* 200+ vehicles burnt
* 33 arrests.
* no police officers reported injured.
* One mosque attacked with incendiary devices in Carpentras in the south of the county.
* Chirac specifically condemned the attack on the mosque.
* Two demonstrations were stopped in Paris which has now a blanket ban on all demonstrations till Monday.
* McDonalds on the Champs Elysee cleared for bombscare.

Belgium continues low level car burning.

This is a holiday weekend in France to mark the 87th year Armistice day.

It is also one year since Yasser Arafat of the real intifida was buried, he had died in a French hospital.

"Banlieu respect" is one group which has called for attendence at its events (illegal) today to call on the rioters to stop.
http://paris.indymedia.org

author by iosafpublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last nights tally for 04h00 was :-
502 vehicles burnt
206 arrests
1 mosque attacked.
1 bombscare.
1 specific presidential condemnation (of the mosque attack) Chirac expressed his solidarity with the muslim community in the city of Carpenteras.

of 751 "zus" (urban areas defined as sensitive)
only 5 chose to exercise the curfew under "loi 3 avril 1955" and others have kept local laws to control the sale of petrol.

The Paris Mayors have announced that no concetration or demonstration which might "disturb the peace" will be tolerated this weekend. However, many are planned.

author by iosafpublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 13:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a Policeman was placed under arrest yesterday for beating a youth last monday in La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis) a total of 8 police officers have been suspended from duty after the incident was broadcast on TV France and 3 have been exonorated.

The police "union" is protesting this action as "disproportionate"

300 people concentrated in Paris yesterday under the banner "Banlieu respect" at the Peace Wall demanding an end to violence and a silent procession is planned for today in Toulouse.

Paris, Bordeaux and Toulouse have banned the sale of petrol in containers.

The Police say they have intercepted a "sms text chain message" calling for increased violence in Paris this Saturday night.

Alpes-Maritimes, Somme, Seine-Maritime, Loiret, Eure et Landes are the urban areas which have decided to apply "Loi 3 avril 1955" till november 20.

author by iosafpublication date Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

lots.

* 374 vehicle burnt
* 212 arrests.
* at 15h30 local time the trouble arrived in a city centre (Lyons) for the first time.
* Sarkozy was booed, heckled and near jostled as he inspected police barricades in central Paris [he has yet to visit a trouble zone].
* Sarkozy is the darling of the lumpen polling public.
53% trust him to sort it out against 52% for De Villepin. Opposition hopefuls Jack Lang at 42%, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (33%) François Hollande (31%).
*****************************************************

Since trouble began there have been 2,503 arrests (around 200 a night) but as of yesterday there have been

* 593 immediate arraingements to court (held on remand straight to court next working day).
* 364 convictions leading to custodial prison.

* 43 "non minors" have been given non custodial sentances.
* 41 "non minors" have been acquited.

* 456 minors have been arrested and tried.
* 103 of whom (minors) have been given care orders.

Isolated incidents continue in other EU states.
Last night Athens joined the fray with an arson attack on a car dealership.

author by iosafpublication date Mon Nov 14, 2005 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

284 vehicles burnt
68 of which in Paris 216 outside.
120 communes affected.
112 arrests
down on Sat/Sun 374 cars. 206 arrests.
5 police injured 2 of whom were hurt by an exploding gas cannister in Grenoble.

Violence was extensive in Lyons - A creche was destroyed after being rammed with a burning car in Toulouse.

This morning the Government's council of ministers (the cabinet) decided to introduce a law to extend Loi 3 Avril 1955 beyond its statutory 12 days to a period of three months. The congress will debate their decision prior to ratification tomorrow at 16h30. It is expected to pass. The Socialists oppose and the Communists have called for the ending of the emergency.

Chirac goes on TV at 20h00 this evening.

the EU will grant 50million€ to France to help pay for the cost to infrastructure. Some estimate the cost of insured private property at 200million€.
Not all of which is cars. The damage includes day centres, bus shelters, buses, schools, one mosque, an awful lot of bins...

author by iosafpublication date Mon Nov 14, 2005 22:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

has :-
Blamed horrible poverty and unemployment which is "too bad" in some areas.
In doing this he also "blamed the French" they have forgotten what "equality of opportunity" is about & become racist despite their model of integration being tippy toppy.

he then-
Blamed the parents. curiously noting that "parents are capital". Aha! capital came into it ;-) Chirac's language was unusual, this was not his usual style, nor is it De Villepin's and not for a moment is it "hola! presidente Chavez" or even "you're a nice doggie" Bertie.
I can not trace any of the "main players" words here. But the speech smells.

& then he blamed the kids for not wanting to join in the community of France.
His sign off was pretty much -
french ladies & gentlemen and you youngsters its join the community or...

You can read a transcript here & translate it yourself
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-706693,36-710206@51-704172,0.html

author by iosafpublication date Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But there was one more teenager with them, who survived.
17 year old Muhittin saw his 2 pals Ziad Benna and Bouna Traoré die that day in the transformer station of EDF the French equivalent of the ESB.
He left the Rothschild hospital in Paris on Wednesday, where has been treated since the incident for 10% burns to the body. His first statements to the media have contradicted those made by the police since October. In an interview with "Le Parisien" he has confirmed his earlier statement to the Bovigny district judge Olivier Géron on the 2nd of November. He now hopes to resume "normal life" in Chêne-Pointu, his particular neighbourhood of Clichy-sous-Bois in Paris.

His T-shirt bears the slogan "dead for nothing".

I'll update on the inquiry into the Clichey sous bois deaths-

muhittin Altun. the lad who survived the electrocution incident in Clichey sous Bois
muhittin Altun. the lad who survived the electrocution incident in Clichey sous Bois

author by eeekkkkpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.metamute.org/en/Grassroots-political-militan...itics

"What the revolt of the banlieues revealed is no more than the truth of a world in which is emerging a rigid opposition between those destined to embody the entrepreneurial individual on one hand and on the other those who in many ways seem to recall the faceless masses of the colonial world."

Related Link: http://www.metamute.org/en/Grassroots-political-militants-Banlieusards-and-politics
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