France, home of the Islamic no-go zones, as in no infidels can go there. via School, cars burned as youth riot engulfs troubled French district – The Globe and Mail.
Months of tension between police and young people in a troubled district of northern France exploded on Tuesday, with dozens of youths facing off against riot officers in a night of violence. Sixteen officers were injured, a pre-school and public gym were torched, and at least three passing drivers in Amiens were dragged from their cars.
While the identity of the rioters and the immediate cause is unclear, the economic picture of the area in question is not. Unemployment skews higher in northern France and among the country’s youth. Less than two weeks ago, the French government declared Amiens among 15 impoverished zones to receive more money and security.
The eruption of violence shows how little relations have changed between police and youths in France’s housing projects since nationwide riots in 2005 raged unchecked for nearly a month, leaving entire neighbourhoods in flames in the far-flung suburbs.
At the height of the latest confrontation, 150 officers — both local and federal riot police — faced off against young men who fired buckshot and fireworks at them, skirmishing through the neighbourhood in the city about 120 kilometres north of Paris. There were no arrests.
“The confrontations were very, very violent,” Amiens Mayor Gilles Dumailly told the French television network BFM. Mr. Dumailly said tensions had been building for months between police and the impoverished residents, whom he described as “people who are in some difficulty.”
Anger was still running high when Interior Minister Manuel Valls arrived in the neighbourhood Tuesday afternoon. A small group of people tried to push through Mr. Valls’s security detail as he walked through the area, alternately booing him, cursing him and trying to speak to him.
One shouted out, “When are you going to speak to us?” before the minister ducked into a building to meet with the mayor, the head of the local prefecture and some residents. He is scheduled to give a public address later in the day.
Relations between police and youth in housing projects have been troubled for years, perhaps decades. Riots occasionally erupt, often in the hot nights of August, when France’s rich and middle classes head off for long vacations but poor and immigrant families in the projects stay home.
The riots usually follow a pattern: Police target a kid speeding on a motorbike or doing something suspicious; the kid speeds or runs away to escape and dies or gets seriously injured in flight. The neighbourhood rises up in anger and that night or the next, young people head out to burn cars, police stations or any building representing authority. Police often respond by coming in force with tear gas, further angering the local population.
One woman said the violence was a bubbling up of long-simmering anger. She described a recent a car accident she had that turned into an ugly interaction with police, whom she accused of responding too aggressively and threatening her and the children present.
“This is not gratuitous violence! This is violence from anger!” Sabrina Hadji told BFMTV. “We’re not animals. We vote and pay our taxes like everyone.”
They can’t identify the perps but they could tell us who dominates this area. But they won’t. But we know. Take heed America.