Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Rioting in France

Young thugs are rioting again in France.
Around 100 youths armed with sticks and baseball bats clashed with police in a Paris suburb, in the worst such violence since the riots of last November, police said.

The violence broke out in the town of Montfermeil east of Paris with trouble also erupting in nearby Clichy-sous-Bois -- the epicentre of last year's riots.

Clashes erupted Monday night when a gang attacked the mayor's home in Montfermeil, shaking its gates and hurling stones at the windows before facing off with police who responded with rubber bullets.

Youths also targeted the town hall, shattering its glass facade with stones and throwing Molotov cocktails which failed to ignite, and set fire to four cars and a large number of garbage bins.

Some 250 police officers were deployed as the violence spread to the nearby Bosquets housing estate, where gangs of masked youths clashed with police for more than four hours. Around 60 youths also clashed with police on a housing estate in Clichy-sous-Bois.
But the authorities insist that this is not related to the rioting that France experienced last year. They just regard it as normal rioting.
"These events should not be linked to the November riots -- they are sporadic incidents which, unfortunately, regularly accompany the work of police officers," the prefecture said in a statement.
"Regularly accompany the work of police officers?" Does that mean that it is the norm to have 100 youths storming the mayor's house and the town hall? Some state of normality over there.

And, of course, they blame the mayor for having his house attacked.
Local left-wing leaders charged in a joint statement that the trouble was sparked by the "heavy-handed" arrest of a woman from the Bosquets estate whose son was wanted in connection with a robbery.

Prosecutors confirmed that incidents broke out between youths and police after a woman and her son were taken into custody on Monday.

The mayor's office earlier said the trouble was sparked by the arrest of a youth accused of assaulting a bus driver, whom the mayor helped to identify.

The Montfermeil area has been tense since centre-right Mayor Xavier Lemoine in April passed two decrees seeking to ban gatherings of more than three youths in the town centre.

The decrees -- which caused a local outcry -- were blocked following legal action in an administrative court.

The UNSA police union issued a statement blaming the violence on the mayor's "rash decisions", while the statement by left-wing leaders accused his law-and-order policies of fuelling tensions.

"We are not surprised that the slightest spark -- in the circumstances -- leads to such violence," it said.
You got that? The mayor tries to take some action to prevent more riots and then helps to identify a hooligan who attacked a bus driver and now the police union is blaming the mayor for these kids rioting. Isn't that just typical of the French? They blame the one who is trying to stop the violence and thuggery, not the criminals themselves. Can't have that law-and-order attitude in France; that just gets the criminals all angry.