Sunday, December 23, 2007


Fillon says rioters are 'criminals'

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

During a visit to Villiers-le-Bel, French Prime Minister François Fillon said the recent clashes that have rocked the troubled suburb were "intolerable" and "incomprehensible".

See the Special Report aboutFrance's urban rage

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

PARIS, Nov. 27, 2007 - French Prime Minister François Fillon vowed to take action after a second night of violence rocked the troubled neighbourhood of Villiers-le-Bel, a suburb north of Paris.
"We're going to do everything so that this evening, there is a maximum security presence in Villiers-le-Bel and the neighbouring areas, because the residents should not have to relive another night of violence," Fillon told parliament on Tuesday.
The clashes were "unacceptable, intolerable, incomprehensible" and could not be justified, he added. "Those who fire on the police and who beat a police officer nearly to death, are criminals and must be treated like criminals," said Fillon.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to meet Fillon and his interior and justice ministers to discuss the crisis on his return from China on Wednesday, his spokesman said in a statement. He will first visit injured police officers in hospital.
Calm returned on Tuesday after a second night of clashes between young rioters and police in Villiers-le-Bel, according to FRANCE 24’s correspondent Sophie Claudet.
"Schools which weren’t burnt down have re-opened," said Claudet. But last night’s violence left its mark with traces of tear-gas and burnt tyres.

Déjà vu

Two years after clashes between police and angry youths rocked the northern Parisian suburb of Clichy-Sous-Bois, residents were rattled by Monday night’s violence. "The riots that shook the suburbs in 2005 might repeat themselves," a worried resident of Villiers-le-Bel told Claudet.
Reporting from the troubled Parisian suburb, Claudet said youths in these neighborhoods felt abandoned by the government.
“The youth in the suburbs feel completely marginalized. The government has abandoned these areas,” said Claudet.
The level of distrust between residents of the economically deprived suburbs and the police has been rising in recent years, and many Villiers-le-Bel residents believe the police do not bear responsiblity for their actions in their neighbourhoods, according to Claudet.
The latest clashes broke out after two youths, Moushin, 15, and Larami, 16, were killed in a collision with a police car Sunday afternoon.
According to the police, the teenagers were riding their motorcycles at top speed and the bikes were not registered for street use.
But friends and relatives of the boys have refuted the reports and they angrily deny suggestions that the two boys were irresponsible.
“Mouhsin and his friend were well integrated; they weren’t young thugs,” Mouhsin’s neighbour told FRANCE 24.
Amid conflicting reports about Sunday’s incident, state prosecutor Marie-Therese Givry on Monday ordered an internal police investigation for "involuntary manslaughter and failure to assist persons in danger." Speaking to reporters, she later said witnesses had confirmed the police officers' version that the bike smashed into the side of their car during a routine patrol.

“We want to know the truth; everything about the deaths of these teens should be open, clear and transparent,” said Zohra Bitan, president of ma6tvachanger, a group that helps young people express themselves on the internet. 

Clashes spread to neighbouring suburbs
Police say over 70 officers were injured, five critically, in new clashes that broke out on Monday night between young rioters and police forces in Villiers-le-Bel as well as Sarcelles and Garges-les-Gonesses, two other towns in the Val d’Oise department. Villiers-le-Bel is in the Val d’Oise department.

The Villiers-le-Bel incident has evoked memories of the riots that spread across France in 2005 after two teens were electrocuted in a power substation while fleeing from police.

According to a local security official, one policeman was wounded in the shoulder Monday night by “a high-calibre bullet” but “no vital organ was damaged”.

Several hundred policemen were deployed in the field to prevent new riots. “Throughout the night, police forces played cat and mouse with the young men who were out in the streets,” said FRANCE 24 correspondent Karim Hakiki.

In all, five buildings - the Bellevue library, two schools, a supermarket and a public accounts office - were burned down, and 63 vehicles were set on fire.

Early Tuesday, a helicopter hovered over Villiers-le-Bel, 20 km north of the French capital, “to locate people stirring up trouble,” a police officer told AFP.
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[3] reactions :
  • Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    French Urban Riots - France 24

    Congratulations to France 24 for thier coverage of the riots. Particularly the "France's Angry Suburbs" discussion. Jacques Myard and Fatima Hani both made valuable points and were balanced by the neutrality of the other two speakers. BBC would never give air time to Jacques. He would be labelled "Far Right" not "conservative" and would be denied a "platform" for his views. Frankly, as most sensible people agree, there is no excuse for such violence. Furthermore, contrary to some of the ideological rantings of some commentators, the answer does not lie in French Colonial history but with the present. Jacques is right that the lawless minority who hate France should dealt with. Fatima is right to demand respect for the lawful majority. The answer is not to reward the bad (as they do in the UK) but to support the good.

  • Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Riots in France

    The riots in France will not stop till justice has been given to the former peoples of France's colonial empire. This is not the days of French Indo-China when massacres were the norm, but a day of reckoning for the people of France.

    Long gone are the Legion Etrangere and its German and other European voluntees, but a day when the reality of the past has come to haunt the French for their past misdeeds. Now the will have to come to terms with this issue, and deal with the NEW FRANCE, where even the Harkis, Pied Noirs and Africans will want their rights enshrined in the CONSTITUTION.

    The price will be high, but it must be paid in full.

  • Monday, November 26, 2007

    Riots in French suburbs

    I am astounded that those who reacted to the tragic death of the two teens think they had the right to attack so many innocent people. This is alarming. Passers by, shop owners, the owners of the burned cars. It sounds more like the war zones of the middle east than a quiet surburban neighborhood.

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