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Riots in the Parisian suburbs

By now, you probably have all heard about it.

We started discussing it in the post-pumping thread, and decided to open the subject to discussion.

I advise you to read what was said over there
(pages 1147 and 1148).

--
ArkanGL
 
CBS NEws has an article I like : here

Cause and effect :
quote:
Riots erupted in an outburst of anger in Clichy-sous-Bois over the accidental electrocution Oct. 27 of two teenagers who fled a soccer game and hid in a power substation when they saw police enter the area. Youths in the neighborhood suspect that police chased Traore Bouna, 15, and Zyed Benna, 17, to their deaths.

Since then riots have swelled into a broader challenge against the French state and its security forces. The violence has exposed deep discontent in neighborhoods where African and Muslim immigrants and their French-born children are trapped by poverty, unemployment, racial discrimination, crime, poor education and housing.

The Interior Ministry released a preliminary report Thursday exonerating officers of any direct role in the teenagers' deaths. Some 1,300 officers were being deployed in Seine-Saint-Denis, a tough northeastern area that includes the town of Clichy-sous-Bois and has seen the worst violence.
 
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Now I need to find blogs form kids actually taking part in the events...
 
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What Sarkozy and his cronnies do not understand is that all this is a result of a lot of bottled up frustration, depression as the guy I quoted said.

These immigrant' kids are very french indeed. If there is one country that knows about pent up civil unrest and the extends those can lead, that is france. And I don't even have to go as far back as the guillotine to make that point.
 
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Uhmmm yeah, the quote
quote:
Originally posted by striv:
quote:
Originally posted by ArkanGL:
More than 400 cars burned last night.

The thing is still growing.

And it's spreading to the southern suburbs.

The government isn't doing anything, except internal quarrels.

That's pretty scary.

I hope it will not end in a government-ordered bloodbath.

What scares me the most is the possibility than after such a dire ending,
the majority of French citizens would be glad that the government reacted, and got rid of these horrible riotous ungrateful foreign parasites.
Very sorry to hear about all this.
And believe me, I sympathise with you.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by striv:
quote:
"There's a gap between what the politicians say and reality," said Abd al Malik, a writer and rap artist who grew up in a housing project after his parents emigrated from the Republic of Congo. "Even the most banal incident can be a trigger because people are so frustrated. They are told this is their home, but they don't feel it is their home.
I liked this part from that article Arkan.
I meant this quote
 
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I see this as a kind of nodal point :

There are many directions things could go from here.
Politically, everything is possible.

It's thrilling and scary.

With the very low esteem I have for the majority of the population,
I am afraid things can go very wrong.

I mean... young people from foreign parents rioting against the Stae is such a golden opportunity for our local nazis (the Front National party) :
quote:
But the sight of bearded men urging rioters to calm down in the name of Islam on Monday has also triggered a debate about whether Muslim radicals were exploiting the frustration of the youths.

Bruno Gollnisch, a leader of the anti- immigrant National Front, said: "The supposed mediation of big brothers [community leaders] crying out Allah Akbar [God is Greatest] is one sign among many of the capitulation of the legitimate authorities."

The Scotsman
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ArkanGL:
The thing that bothers me is : I want to take sides!

I want to support people who fight the Power.
I want things to change.
Especially the lack of consideration people have regarding the inhabitants of these lousy suburbs.

BUT:
For now, the kids have shown no sign of organization or purpose.
Most notably, they threw stones at firemen, and burned schools...
It seems like all they want is to wreak havoc, and destroy things.
No Revolution is in progress here.

As a girl said in an interview yesterday :
"The kids are doing it all wrong.
they are destroying the place they live in.
They should go to Paris, and burn Sarkozy's house, instead of their own place."

I couldn't agree more.
This is fuelled on pure emotion for now.
But that won't last for long.
If the state keeps ignoring these signs and continues on the same trajectory that doesn't allow muslim girls to put scarfs on their heads and quite obviously tends to marginallise this big a part of the community, things will take a definite and more organised course.
And it won't be a pretty sight. I don't understand under which logic do we turn europe into middle east...
This is ridiculous.

It's like following a policy of segragation instead of inclusion. this is exactly what these people were trying to get away from by immigrating....

Ah, shit.
 
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Of course, Paris has a history of 'manifestations'; I am old enough to remember the 'Danny the Red' led events of 1968 & cherish seeing a piece of graffito which proclaimed "Paris today, Here tomorrow".

But the history of Paris rising up against the rest of France (including the government of the day) goes back to the Commune and, of course, the Revolution.

I think the problem that the police have in places like Clichy is that those areas were not part of Haussman's great plan and as such were not designed for easy depoyment of troops in the event of civil unrest.

My prediction for these events is that they will spread to other towns over the next few days but after meetings between 'leaders of the community' and Govt, officials early next week will fade away before the end of next week. The lasting result will be the hostility between Sarkozy and the president will become open warfare with not only politicians but the country lining up in one of the two camps.

LN
 
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Last night, it already spread in a few cities around France.

More 'misbehaviours' from our young revolutionnary surrogates have been noticed.
Most prominently : they mugged all the passengers in an entire RER train.

It sounds like news-bias, but -sadly- I'm sure it's all true.

The movement will die, along with its potential.
Unless it somehow manages to acquire a kind of leadership, and a direction.

Hurting the people is stupid, if you want to overthrow the government.

Liberation (article in French)

But they don't have a goal, for now.
 
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*Long rant about poverty and how those who've never been poor can't possibly understand, and lamenting the often destructive behavior by the poor when faced with a crisis and how it usually ends up hurting them more. See footnotes on the American experience in Watts and Chicago. Vehement admonition against blaming the victim.*
 
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Agreed.

I just wish these events spawned someting better for these people.
 
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BBC's latest report

quote:
Youths burned buildings and more than 500 vehicles in the eighth consecutive night of rioting. Nearly 80 arrests were made in Paris.

Cars were torched in the eastern city of Dijon, and sporadic unrest broke out in southern and western France.
 
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The mayors of the northern suburbs are having a demonstration this afternoon.

Le nouvel observateur (in French)

They say it's time to quiet down, and wait for the government to react to the needs that have been expressed.

(I doubt it has any effect whatsoever.)

--
ArkanGL
 
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quote:
Originally posted by doggo:
*Long rant about poverty and how those who've never been poor can't possibly understand, and lamenting the often destructive behavior by the poor when faced with a crisis and how it usually ends up hurting them more. See footnotes on the American experience in Watts and Chicago. Vehement admonition against blaming the victim.*


*insert my rant agreeing with doggo about my strata of my generation - white, middle class - pretending to give a shit in order for perceived trends and some deep, resenting guilt. Footnotes on every "socialist revolutionary" my age wearing Nikes to rallies, and about the deep desire find some attachment to the romanticism of poverty and pretending like they know or care, and about how violent, direct opposition in the name of their cause does more harm than good for them*
 
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I am old enough to remember when we were having massive race riots in the U.S. Back then the Europeans, especially the French, told us that the troubles were the result of our backward, benighted American culture, something impossible in civilized Europe. They had the answers back then, how come they don't now? Pardon the schadenfreude, guys, but I just can't help myself.
 
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I want to make it clear that the root of the problem is not ethnical origins.
It's poverty.

Put a pack of poor people in a shitty isolated neighbourhood.
Leave them alone for 30 years.
Blame them for all the problems you have.

They are bound to be pretty pissed off after a while.
And if they're not, their children will be.
(unless you are running a very strict military dictatorship,
making any kind of subculture impossible)


The comparison sitll stands, though.

Especially when knowing that at around the time of the US race riots, France was still at war in Algery.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by lithos:
*insert my rant agreeing with doggo about my strata of my generation - white, middle class - pretending to give a shit in order for perceived trends and some deep, resenting guilt.

Seriously though, your average middle class
drone doesn't have any sort of power with which
to enact any necessary changes that would
relieve the problems in any meaningful
nonpatronizing way. So the answer is...?

Personally, I think the biggest problem is that
the poor are often tucked away in their own
neighborhoods and ignored. The current urban
planning trend of integration may be a
reasonable start, although I'm not sure how well
it works.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Marshdrifter:
Seriously though, your average middle class
drone doesn't have any sort of power with which
to enact any necessary changes that would
relieve the problems in any meaningful
nonpatronizing way. So the answer is...?


That's exactly why I don't dabble in that shit. None of us is Gandhi. Walking down a street with a "Save the [insert cause here]" banner doesn't do shit, otherwise the government would outlaw it. Oh. Wait. They did, munchin' on their pumpkin scones*. Rioting does less. It makes you an immature, irresponsible bunch of idiots in the eyes of whomever.

The one march I partook in was in the anti-VSU marches. I left when the chants turned to swearing - that does not help at all.

I will attend another rally, soon, though, in order to capture images, hopefully, of ingenuous youngsters waving "Socialist Alliance" flags whilst flaunting Country Road overnight bags and ninety dollar shirts. That cracks me.

*now that NRG's on board, I can crack these vague QLD references.
 
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"Integration?" I'm not sure if this really qualifies as a trend for the US, particularly as I see the urban reorganization proceeding in DC. Poor blacks are getting gradually pushed out of the Capitol Hill neighborhood and further out as rent and house prices get ridiculously high ($600,000 for a toy house, $1.2 million for something bigger). Rents range from 1400-2000 here, depending on where and how big. "Gentrification" has been the order of the day since the 80s, at least.

And I'd like to add (and agree with Arkan) that this is largely economic pressure that pushes the poor (who also happen to be black) out. It's classist discrimination that becomes de facto racial discrimination.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Justy:
"Gentrification" has been the order of the day since the 80s, at least.

Actually, I see both and sometimes even in the
same town. I think the integration approach is
usually utilized as a last ditch approach for
problem areas. There was some discussion of
using it for New Orleans, although I'm not fool
enough to think it's totally altruistic. A lot
of it are companies who see an opportunity to
gain access to a perceived lucrative tourist
industry.
 
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I'm not sure anybody's citing DC as an example of anything positive, Justy. Having spent some time there myself, I certainly wouldn't. No offense intended!

I'm glad this thread is here. I logged in with the intent of starting it myself. Before the trolls infest it and distract everyone with their predictable response, I wanted to solicit news from folks in Europe about this kind of unrest. I came across a BBC story today about problems in the UK -- a town called Lozell IIRC -- where there had been 'race riots' a week or so ago and a desecration of Muslim graves last night. Multiple references in the blogosphere about the stealth 'race riots' in Denmark, Aarhus in particular, which are getting coverage in Danish press but are not being translated into English. The troubles in France are being reported on, but not so much the current troubles in the rest of Europe. There were also some vague references in the blogosphere about additional riots in the UK somewhere, but they were so vague that I doubt their credibility.

Let me say that I for one am not feeling any schadenfreude here. These are very serious problems that the whole world needs to work through, and I think that anyone who claims that their culture has the answers and has enacted them successfully is likely full of shit.
 
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The race riots in the Lozelles area of Birmingham were mainly black against asian and were sparked by an alleged gang rape of a black teenager.
 
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"Put a pack of poor people in a shitty isolated neighbourhood. Leave them alone for 30 years.
Blame them for all the problems you have."

"Personally, I think the biggest problem is that
the poor are often tucked away in their own
neighborhoods and ignored. The current urban
planning trend of integration may be a
reasonable start, although I'm not sure how well
it works."

Right. See {insert public housing project in major city}.
 
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Maybe by "integration", he means "providing living wage?"
 
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What Pauline said, ++

If only.

And, Split, I was just throwing in DC to wonder where "integration" (whatever that means these days) was actually happening. Anyway, no offense taken.

So when is the Gibson Board Canadian Commune happening? Wink
 
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Justy, Canadians don't do communes. We do co-housing. It's more moderate. Smile
 
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I was thinking of taking issue with lithos' post on middle-class activists, but walking through Wicker Park (Chicago's recently gentrified, trendy hotspot) I saw some hipster kid with a large, handmade patch on the back of his jacket that simply said "Riot", above a drawing of someone about to hurl a molotov cocktail. I wanted to walk up to him and say, "Oh, so you like riots, do you?" and clock him in the face, "Having fun?"

Now they're rioting in Argentina. Obviously, violence has always been a bargaining chip for political ends - but this is how it backfires. Hopefully I'm wrong, and some good will come out of all this.
 
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Nah! starting a riot over a riot is only appealing from the angle of slapstick.

I do think it would be funny in Wicker Park, though. Big Grin
 
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All the riots I've been in have been started by the police. You can't have a riot without riot police.
 
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quote:
'All right, all right! I take it you know who started the riot.'

'Some folks call him by one name, some another,' Coffin Ed said.

'Some call him lack of respect for law and order, some lack of opportunity, some the teachings of the Bible, some the sins of their fathers.' Grave Digger expounded. 'Some call him ignorance, some poverty, some rebellion. Me and Ed look at him with compassion. We're victims.'

'Victims of what?' Anderson asked foolishly.

'Victims of your skin,' Coffin Ed shouted brutally, his own patchwork of grafted black skin twitching with passion.

Anderson's skin turned blood red.

'That's the mother[fucker] at the bottom of it,' Grave Digger said. 'That's what's making these people run rampage on the streets.'

'All right, all right, let's skip the personalities–'

'Ain't nothing personal. We don't mean you, personally, boss.' Grave Digger said. 'It's your color–'

'My color then–'

'You want us to find the instigator,' Grave Digger contended.

'All right, all right,' Anderson said resigned, throwing up his hands. 'Admitted you people haven't had a fair roll–'

'Roll? This ain't craps. This is life!' Coffin Ed exclaimed. 'And it ain't a question of fair or unfair.'

'It's a question of law, if the law don't feed us, who does?' Grave Digger added.

'You got to enforce law to get order,' Coffin Ed said.

And so continues something of a confusing passage from "Blind Mand with a Pistol." Now, the criticism regarding this novel reveals that Chester Himes's larger point may have been the futility of "disorganized violence." That is, the sort of violence in which, as we've been discussing, the community turns in upon itself.

I'm not adding this to close down discussion; I just thought it was an interesting counterpoint to Kradlum's assertion (which feels true). To pretend that the riot cops are actually outside the riot system is false, though. It's a continuous system, that runs from the poor to those in power. I'd extend it to say that you don't have riots without the obvious use of various types of power to restrict opportunity (as Grave Digger suggests above, in the multitude of possibilities of identity for the 'instigator' of the Harlem riots being dealt with in Himes's novel).
 
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Thanks for the info, Kradlum.

If this was a Sid Meier game, then France's government would have collapsed by now, and they'd be switching to Despotism in a desperate attempt to restore order and get some production going.

When does it start to slow down? It still appears to be accelerating. How long can the country sustain this? The news online is full of the horror stories I won't repeat, other than to say that there seems to be a Womackian trend of bad, fiery things happening to disabled women on buses. I imagine the rioters are trying to make it as bad as possible, from a combination of extreme, basic, nihilistic disillusionment and the hope that the worse it gets the more seriously their plight will be taken. However, when your compatriots are burning women alive on the streets of Paris, how far can you be from pushing the authorities and the public over the edge, to the point where they start machine-gunning you where you stand?

I know not to look for reasonable behavior in a mob, and that such extreme behavior is attributable only to a small percentage of them, but it's well past being out of control by Western standards. What next?
 
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So. Paris today, any major city could be next.
All over the world people are going nuts. Why?
Because of the way we live. Consumer society is based on making people feel unhappy so that they have to buy more crap all the time, when people dont have money to buy stuff they feel depressed and angry.
 
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RUR: Right. Bread and Circuses. So what happens if you can't afford to go to the Circus?
 
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quote:
So what happens if you can't afford to go to the Circus?


One becomes the entertainment. The performer. Hopefully out of our own script, and not somebody else's.

Sheez, some of the scenes on BBC news look like something out of the pages of Metal Hurlant... : (
 
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fuldog: That's fuckin' scary.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Splitcoil:
I imagine the rioters are trying to make it as bad as possible, from a combination of extreme, basic, nihilistic disillusionment and the hope that the worse it gets the more seriously their plight will be taken.


I tend to think more of it stems from nihilism or just sheer criminality though, in these despicable cases where innocent people have been attacked. The usual case of society's worst elements taking advantage of anarchy or chaos to freely exercise their psychotic or violent tendencies, like in New Orleans.

In the all-too-frequent worst-case scenarios, the very worst kinds of psychotics take power.
 
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Maybe I'm being too pessimistic, but I feel the French riots are just the top of the ice-berg. The retorics on both sides has long since gone out of control, and moderates, trying to defend common sense and human dignity are blown out as traitors.
Looking at the newspapers, I just can't find the way out anymore. Looking at my neighbourhood, and more specifically talking with activists here, the uphill journey has become steeper, in spite of significant improvements. Maybe the worst sign is that people I spoke with weekly seem to be totally immersed in day-to-day problem solving now.
 
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BTW - the reason I decided to work with urban segregation is that I was shocked by the situation in the US when I lived there and became determined to stop it from happening here. Which, already 10 years ago when I came back, was a very likely possibility. Now it is happening, and I suppose those of us who saw it coming should have spoken with louder voices.
 
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"I wanted to walk up to him and say, 'Oh, so you like riots, do you?' and clock him in the face, 'Having fun?'"

Fickin' Wucker Park!
 
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