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Faeriebell's Blog

Saturday, November 5

The riots in Paris are disturbing to read about. I studied French for almost 10 years, and have a special place in my heart for France and especially Paris, where I have friends. So to hear about burning cars in the streets and government buildings torched, I stop and take notice.

Unfortunately, the American media may not be getting the full story. What I have read online, and what I am seeing on CNN, are totally different pictures of the situation.

I will post about what I have found on the web, in some french language blogs (j'aime bien lire les blogs francophone!) and in this article entitled Here is what is REALLY happening in France!

"The ten young people who were playing soccer ran away from the police who were checking people’s i.d. because some of them did not have proper papers (amongst these, the third electrocuted youth, Metin, was in the process of having his case regularized). They were never involved in any theft from the site as the official version claimed, but that did not stop these claims from being repeated by [Prime Minister Dominique] de Villepin on Thursday. Nobody stands by these claims today, as the prosecutor from Bobigny acknowledged Saturday that it was a simple i.d. check."
-- exerpt from State Violence in Clichy Sous Bois : An Eyewitness Account
Clichy-sous-Bois : lawlessness or injustice?
by Antoine Germa

Saturday, a large group gathered in the neighborhood the violence and held a peaceful anti-riot demonstration. There were appeals made by officials and religious institutions for calm. Then, Sunday night came a report that while people were praying the French police tear gassed a mosque.

"He tells me that while people were praying the police gassed the de Bousquets mosque. He tells me that some women – who were in the section reserved for them – almost passed out. As they left they were met with insults from the forces of law and order: “whore, bitch…” Attempts to speak to the police proved futile, those who dared to try were ordered to “Move on!” and risked being wounded with a flash-ball."
-- exerpt from State Violence in Clichy Sous Bois : An Eyewitness Account
Clichy-sous-Bois : lawlessness or injustice?
by Antoine Germa

From that day forward the riots are about two fundamental issues: the death of the two teens and the police attack on the mosque. The French ministry has made appearances on tv justifying the attack on the mosque, and the official report from the police is has information that is contested and possibly false.

They have found some people to act as mediatiors, local men who can go to the groups of rioters and convince them to do no violence. I hope this tactic works and the violence is ended. However, the French police needs to be straightforward with regards to attacking a religious building, and their police need to be repremanded and investigated for wrong-doing.

There is a lot of cultural and ethnic diversity in France, and the tension has erupted into violence. The police lying does nothing to help the cause of the tension. The suburbs of Paris are poor, and there has grown an innate feeling of abandonment. The socialist government of France needs to do more to help their citizens. Help your people out, give them some oppertunities.

What does CNN say? One article warns Americans to stay away from the affected neighborhoods, however no mention of the mosque attack is present.

Read online: - Crisis talks over French riots
oscarkapac's blog (french) - Violences urbaines
Here is what is REALLY happening in France!
Dissonance and Disrespect - Paris Burning - Toronto Next?
Brad Spangler - Paris riots: immigration is not the problem
Wikipedia (this post is linked there, thanks!) - Paris Suburb Riots

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Read my latest blog posts about the Paris riots, go here and here. Thanks!

faeriebell at 11/05/2005 07:07:00 PM



at 1:02 AM, November 06, 2005 The Inquisitor said...
perhaps one of the reasons why the global public is not getting much of an 'accurate picture' is because the french are too busy blogging in french. That, itself, might, in the french instance, be an indicator of the proud ethnocentricity that is required in order to cement the foundations upon which discrimination against local 'others' are a natural corrollary.

What these 'others' have been, and are being put through in france makes one take a second, and most sceptical look at the phrase, 'Vive la France!'.
at 9:36 AM, November 07, 2005 spirit said...

I'm a french guy living in the Paris suburb. I just want to warn you that the version you have seen of the net, is of course written by far-left people, who always want more foreign and illegal people in France.
It makes no sense to dissert wether the young "of african origin" (YOAO) fleed the police or not. Normal people, when police comes, do not flee. Intelligent people, don't go in dangerous electric places. And moreover, even if some policemen are racists sometimes, it's also because those YOAO are having such a high hate of police, that it became reciprocical. Policemen are fed up to see those YOAO with BMW and mercedes cars because they are dealers. We, poor non-YOAO french, are uspet too, that drugs and prostitution pay better than hard work.

I have been personally living in "hot" suburbs during 2 years. It was horrible to have to look down when a YOAO would look at you (or he would say you are provocative and racist). It was also a pain not to be able to let my girlfriend go out alone after 10pm, or she would be anooyed by idle YOAOs.

I can't explain everything here, but the reality is much more complex than just riots. There is no "evil YOAOs" or "evil police". Evil is on each side, and that's the failure of french integration system, because our system can integrate only a small flow at a time. The flow is too big since more than 20years.
at 12:29 PM, November 08, 2005 JLB1951 said...

As for "the inquisitor" accusing the French of using their own language instead of his/her own and by so doing accusing them of so-called "ethnocentricity", I suppose this individual must be joking!
at 1:19 AM, November 11, 2005 ISLAND MONKEY said...
Interesting least some real debate and insight. It's true there is a sense of massive distortion in the media and the underpinning causes for this are all to do with social integration. This has been an accident waiting to happen and I fear for the future as there appears to be so much misunderstanding and prejudice involved.
The attack against the French of 'ethnocentricity' for communicating in their own language - well that is the best one I have heard yet - how dare they speak their own language?? Let's remember this is happening in France..
at 2:34 AM, November 11, 2005 ISLAND MONKEY said...
For one thing - it assumes they have the choice of writing in another language...
What second language are they meant to be writing in anyway?
at 4:05 PM, November 12, 2005 Peregrinus Obscurus said...
I'm an American expatriate who grew up in the French suburbs (note to Americans: suburbs in France are not like the ones in the US, where the rich live. It's more like American inner-city ghettos.)
I won't even comment on "the inquisitor"'s blog.
However, what Spirit said is very accurate. As a kid I was always too proud to back down from threats from young North Africans, and I paid for it dearly until I got tough. It breeds a lot of fear, hate, prejudice. It took me years to overcome that. (Of course it didn't help that last year my girlfriend left me for a bastard who happened to be Moroccan. No racist offense intended.)
Those who have lived in France have seen this coming for a while. It comes from hate on both sides (far-rightists and young North Africans alike), as well as stupid decisions on the part of the government (too lenient in some areas, too harsh in others.)
at 9:43 PM, November 13, 2005 Roger said...
It's quite unfortunate that the current generation is paying dearly for the racism and exclusion of its predecessors.

Also, isn't rioting and public dissent a French status quo, so to speak? If the youth who were rioting were predominantly White, would the response be different?

Now, spirit is saying that "normal people, when the police comes, do not flee." Well, that's easy for him to say. I am a black immigrant living in the United States, and even though I am now a citizen, and I have absolutely nothing to be afraid of, when I see police officers, I still get tense to this day, and I'm an adult. So, could you just imagine a youngster who, it appears, doesn't otherwise deal "positively" with law enforcement, would respond if falsely accused and not even sure if his papers are in order?

Now, I understand that police officers have a lot to deal with. Believe me, I do. I am taking grad courses in public administration, and have several law enforcement officers as fellow students and I hear the stories, and I could imagine that it is the same in other developed nations.

But, once again, these kids did not start the fire, here. Like what happened with Watts and L.A. in the U.S. It's amazing that we allow geographic and linguistic differences to separate us to the point where we can't draw similarities and try to assuage certain things in one country/locale from happening all over again in another. Hasn't history taught us anything?!

If anything positive comes out of these riots is that ALL communities have a LONG way to go in learning more about each other and doing more reaching out on BOTH sides.

Let this be a warning that the movement of peoples should not be taken lightly and that once upon a time the North invaded and ravished the South. Now, the South (current immigrant peoples) are doing the reverse. It was bound to happen. The question is, what will we learn that is positive that we can use to make the transition easier?
at 11:44 AM, November 14, 2005 Xeroxed said...
The roits are just another reason for some people to make trouble. Like that one man said drugs are paying better than hard work. Is the same way here the blacks, foreign black who can't speak shit for english, are selling every drug on the market. With that money they buy a cab and preten they're respectable. The entire world is in a hole and it's being dug by the dealers. Hhat the world needs is another Hitler to take care of things and to do it right.
at 9:00 PM, November 14, 2005 JJ said...
As Roger points out, the rioters are, in fact, African colonialists, bent on taking over the North by violence. This being the case, it would seem to be perfectly moral for the North to resist the Southern invaders by whatever means necessary.

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