Friday, November 04, 2005

Riots In France Enter Their Ninth Day

And they are spreading across the country now:

The violence that wracked Paris suburbs over the past week spread to new areas outside the capital for the first time.

Police said more than 160 cars were torched in the Paris region and 33 in the provinces, but the night seemed calmer than Thursday when 315 vehicles were burnt in the Ile-de-France region around the capital.

Buses, fire engines and police were again stoned in the Paris suburbs, with five policemen reported slightly injured by projectiles, but there were fewer direct confrontations between police and "troublemakers", according to a police spokesperson.

One of the worst incidents took place at Neuilly-sur-Marne where police vans came under fire from pellet pistols, but nobody was hurt.

The riots were sparked last week by the accidental electrocution of two teenagers who had hidden in an electrical sub-station to escape a police identity check in the suburb at the epicentre of the troubles, Clichy-sous-Bois.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has pledged to restore order.

Waiting on that order there, Dominique. It's interesting to note that BBC gives completely different numbers than the previous (Sofia News Agency) article:

Youths burned buildings and more than 500 vehicles in the eighth consecutive night of rioting.

500, 315, what's the difference?

The Astute Blogger notes that after the Los Angeles riots in 1992, and after the Katrina hurricane, the French press blamed the riots on America's culture of racism:

Well, last time I checked NO CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE HAS EVER HIT PARIS OR FRANCE (DESTROYING AN AREA THE SIZE OF THE UK), AND YET THEY'VE HAD MORE THAN A WEEK OF EXTREMELY SERIOUS RIOTING! And in the past NINE (9) days, the French have yet to make a single move to thwart the riots, and they grow in severity and breadth everday.

Well, they did send 1000 riot police into the streets last night. That might account for the relative calm of the ninth day of rioting. However, as we see the numbers being reported aren't reliable.