Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Looking Worse in Europe

Hi All,

The riots that started around Paris nearly two weeks ago have spread to several other major cities in France and there are isolated reports of other riots in Brussels, Belgium and in Aarhus, Denmark. Meanwhile the situation in France is also getting more intense. The 12th night of the riots were the worst yet. Many police officers have been wounded by thrown stones, molotov cocktails and even small caliber gunfire.

I won't bore you with too many details as events are moving fairly quickly with this and you all can just link to any of the news links to the right for your details.

The story that has me in shock is that only now are French authorities imposing a curfew. In LA, the national guard was sent in after one weekend in the case of the Watts Riot and after three days in the case of the 1992 "Rodney King" Riot. Anyone out there in the ether know if this slow response in France is similar to the response to the student unrest in France in 1968?

It seems to me that regardless of one's sympathies for the plight of the residents of these ghettos, the state must maintain order and, in this case, that would seem to require a larger show of force than has yet been demonstrated by the French authorities. After order is restored, France will have to start making up for 30+ years of misguided policies and there won't be an easy fix. I heard a former French government official say on the PBS New Hour today that French citizens with Arabic sounding names are 1/8 to 1/10 as likely to be offered a job when they apply for one compared to an applicant with a French sounding name.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was planning on posting about this tonight. Good job RBR for being on top of things.

What can I tell you? I have been wondering when it would boil over. I was surprised when the riots didn't start earlier this year when they effectively banned the veil and other "ostentatious" religious symbols in schools.

I am surprised that it took the police so long to crack down. I am not surprised at the rioting. As I have said, the French have not had a 'civil rights' movement. I am hesitant, however, to compare current events to the events of 1968. It is worth reading about , those events because it is a great study in how movements spread and grow.

I am hesitant to compare the two for a few reasons. For starters, the 68' revolt took the form of street protests, and some sit ins before turning to riots. What pushed the whole thing into riots was the brutality of police toward students. And trust me, the French cops in 1968 made the NYPD and LAPD look like boy scouts.

Second, it was a middle class, student revolt that started at when 8 students (one BTW was Cohn-Bendit) broke into the Dean's office at Nanterre to protest the poor conditions at the university. The students occupied the office for 6 days before French authorities reacted. All of this occurred in a year when France was rocked with industrial actions. The students were organized and had a list of demands. The current rioters are neither organized, nor do they have a plan. They are just plan old mad as hell and refusing to take it anymore.

The events of 1968 are sure to be on the current government's mind. And I am sure that they don't want a repeat of what happened in 1968. This may account for some of the slowness to respond. They may have been hoping to contain the rioting and to let it fizzle out. It doesn't seem to be the case to say the least.

Remember that this didn't come out of the blue. Remember the events around the death if Pim Fortuyne in Holland. There was the Le Pen in France, Haider in Austria, Kjaersgaard in Denmark, the Far Right Progressive Party in Norway, etc. The list goes on. Anti-immigrant sentiments have been huge issues in Europe for awhile now. Things may be coming to a head. I bet the Turks are watching this with interest. After being preached to about Human Right violations and democracy by the EU, I bet they feel ever so vindicated.
 

// posted by USWest

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