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.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 7:12 PM