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What is going on in Paris?

By Garion11 ·
Civil Mayhem Rocks France for 12th Night

By JOCELYN GECKER, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 48 minutes ago

PARIS - France will impose curfews under a state-of-emergency law and call up police reservists to stop rioting that has spread out of Paris' suburbs and into nearly 300 cities and towns across the country, the prime minister said Monday, calling a return to order "our No. 1 responsibility."

The tough new measures came as France's worst civil unrest in decades entered a 12th night, with rioters in the southern city of Toulouse setting fire to a bus after sundown after ordering passengers off, and elsewhere pelting police with gasoline bombs and rocks and torching a nursery school.

Outside the capital in Sevran, a junior high school was set ablaze, while in another Paris suburb, Vitry-sur-Seine, youths threw gasoline bombs at a hospital, police said. No one was injured. Earlier, a 61-year-old retired auto worker died of wounds from an attack last week, the first death in the violence.

Asked on TF1 television whether the army should be brought in, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said, "We are not at that point."

But "at each step, we will take the necessary measures to re-establish order very quickly throughout France," he said. "That is our prime duty: ensuring everyone's protection."

The recourse to curfews followed the worst overnight violence so far, and foreign governments warned their citizens to be careful in France. Apparent copycat attacks took place outside France, with five cars torched outside the main train station in Brussels, Belgium. German police were investigating the burning of five cars in Berlin.

National police spokesman Patrick Hamon said there was a "considerable decrease" in the number of incidents overnight into Tuesday in the Paris region.

Nationwide vandals burned 814 cars overnight compared to 1,400 vehicles a night earlier, according to national police figures. A total of 143 people were arrested down from 395 the night before.

The violence started Oct. 27 among youths in a northeastern Paris suburb angry over the accidental deaths of two teenagers but has grown into a nationwide insurrection.

The mayhem is forcing France to confront anger building for decades in neglected suburbs and among the French-born children of Arab and black African immigrants. The teenagers whose deaths sparked the rioting were of Mauritanian and Tunisian descent. They were electrocuted as they hid from police in a power substation, apparently thinking they were being chased.

President Jacques Chirac, in private comments more conciliatory than his warnings Sunday that rioters would be caught and punished, acknowledged in a meeting Monday with Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga that France has not integrated immigrant youths, she said.

Chirac deplored the "ghettoization of youths of African or North African origin" and recognized "the incapacity of French society to fully accept them," said Vike-Freiberga.

France "has not done everything possible for these youths, supported them so they feel understood, heard and respected," Chirac added, noting that unemployment runs as high as 40 percent in some suburbs, four times the national rate, according to Vike-Freiberga.

In violence Monday, vandals burned churches, schools and businesses, and injured 36 police officers in clashes around the country, setting a new high for arson and violence, said France's national police chief, Michel Gaudin.

"This spread, with a sort of shock wave spreading across the country, shows up in the number of towns affected," Gaudin said.

In terms of material destruction, the unrest is France's worst since World War II ? and never has rioting struck so many different French cities simultaneously, said security expert Sebastian Roche, a director of research at the state-funded National Center for Scientific Research.

Villepin said curfews will be imposed under a 1955 law that allows the declaring of a state of emergency in parts or all of France. The law was passed to curb unrest in Algeria during the war that led to its independence.

He said 1,500 reservists were being called up to reinforce the 8,000 police and gendarmes already deployed. The Cabinet will meet Tuesday to authorize curfews "wherever it is necessary," he said.

"The multiplying acts of destruction, the destruction of schools and sports centers, thousands of cars set on fire, all of this is unacceptable and inexcusable," he said. "To all in France who are watching me, who are disturbed by this, who are shocked, who want to see a return to normalcy, a return to security, the state's response ? I say it tonight forcefully ? will be firm and just."

Villepin said "organized criminal networks" are backing the violence and youths taking part are treating it as a "game," trying to outdo each other. He did not rule out the possibility that radical Islamists are involved, saying: "That element must not be neglected." France's community of Muslims, at some 5 million, is western Europe's largest.

Local government officials will be able to impose curfews "if they think it will be useful to permit a return to calm and ensure the protection of residents. That is our No. 1 responsibility," the prime minister said.

A Socialist opposition leader, Francois Hollande, said his party would closely watch to make sure the curfew law is applied properly.

"This law cannot be applied everywhere, and it cannot be long-lasting," Hollande said. He said Villepin should have put more emphasis on improving life in tough neighborhoods and said the premier's proposals were vague.

Villepin said he wanted to speed up a $35.5 billion urban redevelopment plan, triple the number of merit scholarships for talented students and offer jobs, training or internships to disadvantaged young people.

"We must offer them hope and a future," he said.

But nearly 600 people were in custody Monday night, and fast-track trials were being used to punish rioters.

France's biggest Muslim fundamentalist organization, the Union for Islamic Organizations of France, issued a religious decree against the violence. It prohibited all those "who seek divine grace from taking part in any action that blindly strikes private or public property or can harm others."

The first fatality was identified as 61-year-old Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec. He was trying to extinguish a trash can fire Friday at his housing project in the northeastern Paris suburb of Stains when an attacker caught him by surprise and beat him into a coma, police said.

"They have to stop this stupidity," his widow, Nicole, told Associated Press Television News of the rioting. "It's going nowhere."


Associated Press Writers John Leicester, Angela Doland and D'Arcy Doran contributed to this report from Paris.

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Oh come on

by jdclyde In reply to Discrimination or lazines ...

OZ is constantly telling us how much supperior they are to the US and how NO ONE would want to come HERE because they have it so good everywhere else!

Someone is very mistaken here, but I don't think it is you.

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No one wants to come to the US? hah!

by M_a_r_k In reply to Oh come on

He needs to take a course in mathematics. Oh yeah, the rest of the world is a Utopia and the US is the second coming of Hades. I'd venture to say that more immigrants come to the US than any other country. Yet everyone bad-mouths us about what a lousy country we are. Hyporites. Bloodsuckers.

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Immigrants have been comming here for

by just_chilin In reply to No one wants to come to t ...

the past 400+ years.
What's you point?

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The point is

by jdclyde In reply to Immigrants have been comm ...

in the US, we don't continue to refer to them as immigrants decades down the road.

Nice to know that dispite what Sharpton and Jackson say, we are NOT the most racist country in the world. Acutally, it sounds like we are doing pretty good.

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No point, just a fact

by M_a_r_k In reply to Immigrants have been comm ...

I only said that more immigrants come to the US than any other country. This is a simple and plain fact. As factual as the sun always coming up in the east. I offered no opinion. If this fact offends you, then it certainly is not my problem. If you want my opinion about immigrants to the US, I think in the past they were very good for our country. Our country was built through the hard work of immigrants. Every American with the exception of full-blooded American Indians are here because of immigration. See link for further comments:

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I agree in concept

by jck In reply to Discrimination or lazines ...

It's part of the mentality of a lot of people who immigrate to modernized nations nowadays, unlike pre-industrial immigrants. It used to be you came here to earn your keep, work hard, and build a life for yourself. Now, people come here and often times not only don't want to work in entry-level non-experienced work...and/or, they get abused by the system where the cheapest labor gets the job...even if it means finding the guy who'll work free overtime even being an hourly employee.

They go to a modern country thinking that work is so abundant that they can get a job and become successful without hard working for it. Then when they can't get a job doing something they want, they don't want to mop floors a lot of the time and then they sit around and get aggravated at their lack of accomplishment.

Of course, that also happens in already-established impoverished areas of non-immigrant people in this country. So, it's not only immigrants.

I can tell you that there is also a large immigrant population of Muslims building in Holland, where some of my friends live (in The Hague) from Turkey. My friends tell me these people move there and live 2 or 3 families in a house and half of them don't work and that a lot of neighborhoods there are becoming like 3rd world countries with trash and debris in the streets, increased violent crimes, etc.

It pains them, because they tell me that Holland 25 years ago was pretty much totally pristine and clean and well kept. It's only since the influx of people from undeveloped nations (mainly Turkey) has started, it has gone downhill quickly. And, they tell me they don't know how much longer the Dutch economy will support this influx of people feeding off their healthcare system and what not.

A lot of people nowadays want to start out as career professionals without education or experience, and don't want to have to start as a cook at McDonalds or the guy who sweeps the floor at the local bowling alley and work their way up.

People have become spoiled...even the poor ones...and, that means they become complacent...and often lazy.

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and it also means

by jdclyde In reply to I agree in concept

people should be allowed to sink or swim based on their own efforts.

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pretty much

by jck In reply to and it also means

You couldn't expect someone old and infirmed to be able to go be a bike messenger, but at the same time the majority of the burden for their care shouldn't be on the rest of society, it fell on family, friends, neighbors, etc. And, it was mostly done out of respect for your elders....which is incredibly rare nowadays amongst people under 25.

I always preferred the Jamestown model, where if you were able-bodied and didn't didn't eat. Society would refuse to support you if you didn't contribute to society.

If we applied that to today's welfare system, I guarantee you very few people would be on welfare...especially if they had to go out and farm 50 acres by hand or worm cattle or dig ditches or something...for that small welfare check. They'd run to McDonalds in hordes to get a job flipping burgers.

Anyways...conveniences in the modern world make people susceptible to laziness...

God knows...I hate to write by hand now...if it's not an editable document on my computer, I don't want to fill it out.

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There's an insightful book about that

by M_a_r_k In reply to I agree in concept

It's called The Millionaire Next Door. It discusses how ordinary people accumulate wealth through working hard and being frugal. From the '50s through the '70s a very large number of self-made millionaires (including owners of Mom-and-Pop shops) were first-generation immigrants. They came to this country with the goal of taking advantage of the resources (taking advantage in a good way, that is) to make a better life for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, that tradition has not been kept up. Their kids and present-day immigrants are blood-suckers.

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Did you loose your job to an immigrant?

by just_chilin In reply to There's an insightful boo ...

'cause u sure sound like it

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