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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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I do not respond to idiotic, uneducated comments

by M_a_r_k In reply to Did you loose your job to ...

A Fully Employed Hard-Working American

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You're exactly right

by Surflover In reply to I agree in concept

It's not just the immigrants, it seems to be systemic... no one wants to have to work their way up... If they cant make 6 figures in their first job, "the system is against them"...

not that I believe the system is, or should be their source of support... we've allowed our society to believe in the non-existant "free lunch"

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It's Hollywood's fault.

by just_chilin In reply to You're exactly right

People overseaes think we live just like in the movies.

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that is all too true...and sad

by jck In reply to It's Hollywood's fault.

My friends in Holland and Germany always thought that America was the land of "milk and honey" (that's literally what they told me) and they thought most everyone here was at least above poverty level.

But after they vacationed here and saw how much Americans go into ridiculous debt for really unnecessary things and absurd amenities (gold-plated faucets, etc) and how many homeless and impoverished people there were, they couldn't believe it.

BTW...just a bit of info I picked up from the BBC World News out of Washington last night:

The Center for Economic Policy in London, England came out with a huge study of economic prosperity and likelihood of people rising from poverty, and reported that you are twice more likely in Europe to rise from poverty than you are in the United States. Sounds like the milk spoiled and the honey crystalized.

So...maybe...the man *is* keepin us all down??? OH DAMN!!! I'm gonna go burn my old Seagate MFM drive!!! And torch my neighbor's lawn jockey!!!!!! ]:)

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Speaking of "immigrants",

by Ldyosng In reply to It's Hollywood's fault.

I'd like to see a(small) earthquake hit LA during the Rose Parade.
Maybe folks would think twice about moving to Sunny Southern California.

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I'm not usually a fan of Bill Gates....

by Surflover In reply to I agree in concept

But this pretty much sums it up...


To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice. Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1:Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a! boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now.. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

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Urban Legend alert

by JamesRL In reply to I'm not usually a fan of ...

Quoting from Snopes(in part):
This list is the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add. (The list has appeared in newspapers, although not necessarily in this book.) Many versions omit the last three rules:

Rule No. 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.
Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You're welcome.


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Germany as well...

by beads In reply to I agree in concept

The same thing happened in Germany before the wall fell. Thousands of Turks resettled into Southern Germany where I lived.

Two things I always told newbies when arriving in country: The turkish women always carry guns; the men always carry knives - don't **** either off because they tend to be a bit "irrational". Atleast with GIs.

Ummm... That and you can't tell a Turk anything. If I said the sky was blue someone would argue with me that it was about to rain torrentially. You may have had other experiences with Turks but that pretty much sums up my experiences with that group of people.

The rest would be more fitting in a locker room or dark bar in say - Green Bay, Wisconsin because some of the things I have heard proudly proclaim still make my socks curl.

- beads

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Did this "laziness" happen

by Ldyosng In reply to Discrimination or lazines ...

Before or after the French government told the Muslim women that they could not wear their head-coverings any more?
Is it lazy to try to follow the teachings of ones' faith?
I'm all for the separation of church and state, but there's a big difference between freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. Making the women take off their head-coverings probably set things seething, and the two deaths just made the pot boil over.

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Long view of history

by JamesRL In reply to Did this "laziness" happe ...

Prior to the revolts in Algeria in the 50s/60s, France itself didn't seem to have many racial problems. Many black American performers moved there in the 20s and 30s because the French loved Jazz, and Jim Crow didn't exist.

After the turmoil in Algeria, many there decided to move to France. Its the grandkids of those immigrants who are causing the trouble. In the 60s there were jobs for these people, but

I do agree that banning the hajib and all religious symbols in schools is wrong. But this tension has been simmering a lot longer than that. Its also shown up in Germany which has a lot of "guest workers" from Turkey.


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