Friday, November 11, 2005

15th Night
Are Things
Getting Worse?

Reuters says the rioting in France is truly calming down, but don't believe it:

PARIS (Reuters) - France started a long holiday weekend on Friday as two weeks of civil disturbances appeared to die down but a police chief said he feared rioters might be planning protests in central Paris.

Police said that 207 vehicles were burned and 101 people arrested by 1 a.m. on Friday morning, the 15th consecutive night of disturbances that have shocked France and shaken the conservative government.

"The trend continues downwards," a police spokesman told Reuters, referring to a steady drop in the figures and adding there were no major incidents to report.

Paris police chief Pierre Mutz banned the transport and purchase of petrol in jerry cans on Thursday, citing a string of arrests in the capital of people carrying firebombs.

"Calls have been launched over the past few days on Internet sites and by SMS messages urging meetings within Paris and calling for 'violent actions', in the words of the authors of these messages," Mutz's office said in a statement.

Riots in Paris have been largely confined to the suburbs, mostly in housing estates about an hour away from the city center.

The urban violence peaked last weekend but fell as emergency powers announced by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Tuesday allowed local officials to impose night curfews.

President Jacques Chirac said on Thursday the government had to address problems in the suburbs where many complain of racism, poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunities.

"We need to respond in a strong and quick way to the unquestionable problems that many inhabitants of the deprived neighborhoods surrounding our cities are facing," said Chirac, who has come under fire for saying too little during the crisis.

Finance Minister Thierry Breton said he had prepared a series of proposals to create more jobs.

"We have put a lot of money into the suburbs over the past 20 years," he told Britain's Financial Times newspaper. "But obviously it wasn't enough."

With solutions like the ones Chiraq is proposing, they will be back and bigger. Basically, he's encouraging a program of, "You riot, we give you money." And besides, the root cause is not poverty, it is Islamofascism.

The solution is, elect Nicolas Sarkozy.

And besides, according to No Pasaran/France 1, the rioting actually got worse last night:

463 vehicles burned, 201 arrests, 7 police injured, and 8 police suspended for doing their job.

In Lyon, 4 police were hurt by thrown rocks. Violence in the greater Paris area ticked up a bit.

12,000 police are being kept on duty through the weekend (including the holiday of 11 November). Calls to riot continue to circulate via SMS, blogs, and Internet bulletin boards.

Where's George Orwell when we need him?