On Monday, Le Monde (Paris) reported on the worst night of violence yet in the wave of rioting and violent attacks that have swept the Paris region since Oct. 27 and the rest of France since Nov. 4....
[Translated from Le Monde (Paris)]
36 POLICE WOUNDED IN NIGHT'S RIOTS
Le Monde (Paris) (with AFP and Reuters)
November 7, 2005
[PHOTO CAPTION: Anti-riot police intervene in the city of Corbeil-Essonnes, in the Paris suburbs, Nov. 6, 2005.]
France saw an eleventh evening of riots on the night from Sunday, November 6, to Monday, November 7, in the course of which 36 police were wounded in more and more violent clashes. More than 1,400 vehicles were burned, the grimmest toll since the beginning of the troubles. In addition, there were attacks against schools and public buildings. More than 400 persons were arrested. Acts of violence continue to amplify elsewhere in the country, where they are now more numerous than in the Paris region.
For the first times since Oct. 27, two police were hit and wounded by hunting rifles and pistols firing shot in the Paris region, and had to be hospitalized. These events took place in the Grande Borne housing project in Grigny (Essonne). Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy visited them Sunday evening in the Evry hospital.
Mr. Sarkozy also went to the Les Tarterêts housing project in Corbeil-Essonnes as well as to the Seine-Saint-Denis departmental public safety headquarters, where he expressed the wish that "Republican order return to every neighborhood." "Otherwise," he said, "it will be gang rule, mafia rule, or another kind of rule."
But it is now anything but the case that the acts of violence are confined to the Paris area. "The ripple and shock wave" of the Paris region has reached the provinces, which are now more affected than the Paris suburbs, said a high police official Monday. The national police chief [DGPN = directeur général de la police nationale], Michel Gaudin, said Monday that the Paris region, with 426 vehicles burned, including 18 in Paris (741 on the preceding night, including 36 in Paris) was less affected than the provinces, where 982 vehicles were burned (554 on the preceding night).
Two hundred seventy-four communes [NOTE: The commune is France's smallest administrative subdivision, of which there are about 38,000, the vast majority having fewer than 2,000 inhabitants and several villages often being grouped in a single commune; each commune is administered by a maire, or mayor. --M.K.J.] were affected (211 on the previous night), said Mr. Gaudin, who announced that 36 police had been wounded (21 on the previous night). The cities most affected in the provinces, according to the DGPN, are Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, and Lille, and to a less degree Strasburg and Nantes. But violence also reached some small communes.
Mr. Gaudin said that the rioters have demonstrated an "anti-institutional violence," noting that three schools, two mayoral annexes, and three police stations (Perpignan, Clermont-Ferrand, and Nîmes) were destroyed or badly damaged by fire. For the first time, two churches were attacked: the church of Saint-Edouard in Lens (Pas-de-Calais) and the presbytery on the isle of Thau, in Sète (Hérault).
Faced with this situation, President Jacques Chirac announced Sunday that the "absolute priority" was "reestablishing security and public order." The government announced beefed-up security measures in an attempt to stop the propagation of violence. "We cannot accept any zone of lawlessness," added Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. As a way out of the crisis, Dominique de Villepin promised to present "concrete proposals" on Monday, in an appearance on TF1 at 8:00 p.m. But "it's more and more violent every night," a police captain in the Paris suburbs told the popular daily Le Parisien.
An Islamic organization issued a "fatwa" condemning "most strongly" the acts of violence in France. The Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF = Union des organisations islamiques de France) called for young Muslims to "calm their anger."
Since the beginning of the violence, 4,700 vehicles have been burned and 1,220 persons arrested, according to police.
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/