Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Paris Riots: State of Emergency declared

France: It only took them 12 days or so to get tough? The left is scared and astonished that France would get tough with rioters without appeasing outright.

PARIS (AFP) - The French government has declared a state of emergency in riot-hit parts of the country in order to combat the worst outbreak of urban unrest since the May 1968 student revolt. Meeting in crisis session Tuesday under the chairmanship of President Jacques Chirac, the cabinet invoked a 50 year-old law originally drawn up at the start of the Algerian war which permits the declaration of curfews, house-searches and a ban on public meetings. The measure will come into effect at midnight (2300 GMT) Tuesday after the government has issued a decree setting out the geographical limits for the state of emergency. In remarks conveyed by his spokesman, Chirac said he had decided to "give the forces of law and order supplementary means in order to assure the protection of our fellow citizens and their property... It is necessary to hasten a return to calm." It was the toughest response to date to nearly two weeks of rioting in the country's high-immigration suburbs which has left more than 6,000 cars burned, public and private property destroyed, tens of policemen injured and one civilian death.
They are going for the payoff which won't help, you need to have a political and more importantly a societal shift for this to work.
Acknowledging the accumulation of social and economic handicaps in the Arab community, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin also announced Tuesday a series of new measures designed to facilitate access to the jobs market and stamp out racial discrimination. "Our collective responsibility is to make difficult areas the same sort of territory as others in the republic," Villepin told the National Assembly. Among the steps are the creation of an anti-discrimination agency, the allocation of 20,000 state-paid jobs for inhabitants of poor suburbs, an extra 100 million euros (120 million dollars) for associations working there, and the creation of 15 new special economic zones with tax-breaks for employers. Monday night showed no let-up to the unrest, with 1,200 cars torched and 300 arrests, but the focus switched away from the capital to regional towns and cities, notably Toulouse in the southwest where a youth had his hand blown off when he picked up a tear-gas grenade. In eastern France, schools, a library, a church and several vehicles -- including five buses -- were incinerated, and a German TV crew was pelted with rocks. In Auxerre, southeast of the French capital, 15 people were hospitalized with breathing problems after a blaze in a cellar forced them to evacuate a building, and in the central city of Saint-Etienne a four-storey apartment block was evacuated when flames from burning vehicles spread.
The left is so out of it in France, they can't understand why they reactivated these laws.
There was strong criticism of the government for resorting to an emergency measure that recalls one of the worst moments in the country's modern history and has particularly painful associations for Algerians, who were the original law's main targets. The left-leaning Le Monde newspaper said that "exhuming a 1955 law sends to the youth of the suburbs a message of astonishing brutality: that after 50 years France intends to treat them exactly as it did their grandparents." "I did not think they would dare to do it. It is really a provocation for those of us who lived through the humiliations, the torture, the round-ups during the war of liberation," said Abdelhakim Bouziane, 79, an Algerian living in the town of Mantes-la-Jolie west of Paris.
The lesson here is if you burn stuff down cause physical harm and contribute to a person's death, you will not be treated nicely. I know that comes as a shock to Le Monde, but welcome to real world. BTW, all that new programs and allocated jobs(affirmitive action) will not sit well with the majority of the people because it goes against the Republic ideals. I doubt half of what is promised will be done.

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