Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We Will Always Have Paris

Or will we?

French police are deploying 1000 riot police to the suburb where the "youths" are rioting:

VILLIERS LE BEL, France (AFP) - The French authorities deployed 1,000 police to a northern Paris suburb Tuesday to prevent a third night of youth riots amid signs that the violence could be spreading.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon visited the restive suburb of Villiers le Bel, where the death of two teenagers Sunday touched off two nights of violence that have left at least 120 police injured.

Nine people were detained in Villiers ahead of Fillon's visit, police told AFP, and at least one shop was on fire later in the evening.

Earlier, a court jailed eight youths over the clashes with police Sunday and Monday. Four were handed prison sentences ranging from three to 10 months, while four others were detained pending judgement.

There was also Tuesday signs that the violence had spread outside the Paris region when about a dozen cars were set on fire in the southern city of Toulouse.

For two nights running, young men have hurled petrol bombs and bricks at police, torching cars and buildings in Villiers le Bel, where two youths were killed in a motorbike collision with a police car.

Faced with the worst eruption of urban violence since the riots of 2005, Fillon vowed a beefed-up security presence Tuesday evening and to "do everything" to stop the violence from spreading across the Paris area.

"Those who shoot at policemen, those who beat a police officer almost to death are criminals and must be treated as such," he told parliament earlier. "We will do everything tonight to ensure maximum security."

Returning from a state visit to China, President Nicolas Sarkozy was to chair a special meeting on the unrest Wednesday morning, after receiving the families of the victims at the Elysee palace.

The clashes left five buildings damaged by fire in Villiers le Bel, including a tax office, a supermarket, a library and a nursery school, as well as 63 cars. Two dozen people have been detained to date.

A report from Le Monde newspaper described boys as young as 13 taking orders from their elders to torch buildings and forming battle ranks against the police, vowing to "do in" a "pig" -- a police officer.

Does that sound like "criminal" activity, or is this something else entirely? The beginning of a Civil War, perhaps?

If so, then, will we always have Paris? Does Paris even exist outside of the areas of tourist romance anymore?


Rick Darby said...


Being something of a romantic, I like to think that some of the traditional ambiance of Paris will survive, whatever the near future brings.

Paris has been torn by violence many times before — in the Revolution, 1830, 1848, 1871, the German occupation, street fighting in '44 — without permanently losing its allure for lovers.

Only if France goes Muslim will the romantic side of Paris sink into dim history. It's hard to imagine falling in love with a Frenchwoman forced to wear a hijab.

Pastorius said...

Warning: Graphic comment to follow.

Parisian women have some of the finest asses it has ever been my pleasure to see.

It would certainly be a shame to wrap those in burqas.

Islam can destroy the romantic side of the whole world. France is certainly not immune.

Anyway, let's talk about something more pleasant.

Your post on Mahler has moved me to give a listen to his third symphony.

My wife and kids won't be home tonight, so I will go out and buy it and sit in silence and listen.