The numbers of vehicles burned and persons arrested in France continued to fall on the night from Monday to Tuesday, Le Monde (Paris) reported. -- President Jacques Chirac addressed the French nation Monday night, saying: "These events bear witness to a deep malaise. Some caused fires in the very neighborhoods where they live, burned the cars of their neighbors, of their acquaintances, attacked their own schools, their own gymnasiums. -- This is crisis of meaning, a crisis of reference points, a crisis of identity. -- We shall respond to it by being firm, by being just, by being faithful to the values of France. . . . Without respect, we shall build nothing lasting. If we allow racism, intolerance, insult, affronts, no matter from where they come from, [Was this perhaps meant as an allusion to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy? -M.J.] we shall build nothing lasting. Without fighting the social poison that discrimination represents we shall build nothing lasting. If we do not recognize and accept the diversity of French society, we shall build nothing lasting. This diversity in written into our History. It is a treasure, and a source of strength." ...
[Translated from Le Monde (Paris)]
Banlieues in crisis
RETURN TO CALM SEEMS CONFIRMED IN BANLIEUES
Le Monde (Paris)
November 15, 2005 -- 9:02 a.m.
The return to calm in the banlieues seemed to be confirmed on the night of Nov. 14-15. At 4:00 a.m., 162 vehicles and 42 arrests had been counted, according to a provisional total from the national police headquarters. The night before at the same time, 271 vehicles had been burned and 112 persons arrested.
This nineteenth night of urban violence was marked by three Molotov cocktails thrown against the façade of a mosque in Saint-Chamond, in the Loire, causing minor damage. Projectiles of the same type had already targeted, since the beginning of the riots, places of Muslim worship in Carpentras and Lyons.
A policeman was wounded, two were wounded on the preceding night, according to police sources.
Forty-seven cars were burned in Île-de France -- thirteen of them in Paris -- and 115 in the rest of the country. Seventeen cares were burned in the Lyon metropolitan area in the early evening, a figure slightly higher than that of the night before at the same time. Six cars, in particular, caught fire at the vocational high school in Ecully, which trains youths to be automobile mechanics. No minor was arrested in the departemnt, where the curfew imposed on unaccompanied youths under 18 remained in place for the third successive night.
The other departments of the Rhône-Alpes region were very calm, no damage to vehicles being reported in Ain, Loire, and the Grenoble metropolitan region.
Incidents in Toulouse were down sharply from ten days ago, with seven cars burned and four refuse bin fires, according to the prefecture. A large team of several hundred gendarmes and police were still in place Monday night. As for the public transit system, Tisseo-Connex announced it intended to return to normal service, with two news bus lines set up Tuesday, and metros operating until 10 p.m. in volatile neighborhoods affected by the violence.
Earlier in the evening, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy met with Seine-Saint-Denis police in Bobigny and paid tribute to their service. The minister expressed his "gratitude," thanking them for what they had "done under difficult conditions," he emphasized, according to his staff, and was able to engage in dialogue with them "in a relaxed atmosphere."
During the course of the day Monday, an appeals court freed a security agent suspected of having struck a 19-year-old young man in La Courneuve. Under investigation along with one of his colleagues for "acts of violence committed by a person charged with public authority exercising his functions alongside others," this policeman remains on probation.
Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Home page: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/