Sunday, November 06, 2005

French Riots: Day 10

The riots, which had been spreading through the Parisian surburbs, has now reached Paris proper and the Mediterranean resort communities. Ten days. And the violence is getting worse not subsiding:
The latest violence, sparked by the deaths of two teenagers in suburban Paris, spread west to the Normandy region and south to the Mediterranean and the resort cities of Cannes and Nice, where arson was reported.

By early Sunday, more than 900 cars had been burned, 193 people detained and several police officers and firefighters injured after a 10th night of rioting across France, according to national police spokesman Patrick Hamon.

Thirteen cars were torched in Paris, including several in the Place de la Republique in the central city.

In the Normandy city of Evreux, five police officers and three firefighters were injured when two schools, a post office, a shopping center and 50 cars were burned, Hamon said. A child care center was burned in Lille in northern France.
And the French government is still behind the curve as the violence is spiralling out of control:
Hamon told The Associated Press that arsonists were moving beyond their heavily policed neighborhoods to less protected areas.

"They are very mobile, in cars or scooters. ... It is quite hard to combat," Hamon told AP. "Most are young, very young, we have even seen young minors."

There appeared to be no coordination between separate groups in different areas, Hamon told AP. But within gangs, youths are communicating by cell phones or e-mails. "They organize themselves, arrange meetings, some prepare the Molotov cocktails."

Today marks the 90th anniversary of Ganhdi being arrested for nonviolent demonstrations against the British rule. Compare and contrast with the current violence in France.

CBS Sunday Morning has completely screwed the pooch. They state that the riots were due to the shooting death of two Muslims in France. Can they get their facts straight? We've known for 10 days that they've been electrocuted, and that the French government has stated that the police did nothing wrong. So, why is CBS Sunday Morning saying these things? *** See Update Below ***

And now there's reports that the French authorities have uncovered a bomb factory near Paris.
Police also found a gasoline bomb-making factory in a rundown building in Evry, a southern Paris suburb that contained 150 explosives, more than 100 bottles, gallons of fuel and hoods for hiding rioters' faces, Jean-Marie Huet, a senior Justice Ministry official, said Sunday.
This riot, which may have started spontaneously has now mutated into an organized conflict and the police have not acted quickly enough to stop it.
For the second night in a row, a helicopter equipped with spotlights and video cameras to track bands of marauding youths combed the Paris suburbs from the air and small teams of police were deployed to chase down rioters speeding from one attack to another in cars and on motorbikes.

The violence took a potentially alarming turn with attacks in the well-guarded French capital. Police said 32 cars were set afire there, mostly on the northern and southern edges of the city.
Where to start with this? Where were the helicopters after Day 1? Was the violence so low key that the French police just thought that it would dissipate on its own after a few days? The mindset is absolutely astounding in how laissez faire the police were during the first days of this riot. And still, we're talking about a single helicopter - is that all they have? If the riots are spreading through other cities, one would expect to see police helicopters flying all over the place to make sure that they keep tabs on the rioters.

And for the story to say that the violence took an alarming turn because they're striking in Paris is absurd. The violence is already alarming because it was permitted to spread unchecked for days.

Mark Steyn is a must read - the French have a war on their hands and they aren't even sure that they want to fight this battle.

According to Globular Cluster at LGF nearly 1,300 cars were torched last night alone. He also posted a roundup of various news accounts of the violence and damage.

*** CBS Sunday Morning issued a correction at the end of the program to correct their initial statements on the cause of the riots. They correctly stated at the end of the program that the riots were caused when two youths were electrocuted at a power substation. It makes one wonder how such a blatant error was able to get past all the editors and fact-checkers in the first place.

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