France is having trouble with rioters again. But this time it is different……
In one sense, the unrest seems to be more menacing than during the early days of the three weeks of rioting in 2005. Then, the youth seemed disorganized, their destruction largely caused by rock-throwing and arson and aimed at the closest and easiest targets, like cars. This time, hunting shotguns, as well as gasoline bombs and rocks, have been turned on the police.
“From what our colleagues on the scene tell us, this is a situation that is a lot worse than what we saw in 2005,” Patrice Ribeiro, a police officer and senior union official, told RTL radio Tuesday. He added, “A line was crossed last night, that is to say, they used weapons, they used weapons and fired on the police. This is a real guerrilla war.”
Ribeiro warned that the police, who have struggled to avoid excessive force, would not be fired upon indefinitely without responding.
More than 80 police officers already have been wounded the clashes, several of them seriously, Ribeiro said later by telephone. Thirty of them were hit with pellets from shotguns, and one of the wounded was hit with a type of bullet used to kill large game, he added. It is legal to own a shotgun in France – as long as the owner has a license – and police circles were swirling with rumors that the bands of youth were procuring more shotguns.
Here is a news clip from the early days of the rioting…
Here is more footage of the early rioting…
This is from the second day. Anti-France in its view point.
To be fair to the French, this time the riots did not last long. This from CNN…..
French suburbs stayed relatively calm Wednesday night after 1,000 riot police were deployed to quell disturbances that began when two teenagers died in a collision with a police car, French officials said.
Wednesday was the fourth night of unrest that on prior nights resulted in violent clashes between angry youths and police, and the burning of buildings and cars from the Paris suburbs to the southern city of Toulouse.
No injuries to police were reported, Laurente Wittek, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, told CNN. She said Thursday that there had been a “clear reduction” in the rioting.
Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to punish those responsible for shooting at police. Sarkozy met Wednesday with the families of the youths on the motorcycle who were killed.
The worst bouts of violence were Monday and Tuesday nights, when police made arrests in the northern Paris suburb of Villiers-le-Bel, where the collision occurred.
Nonetheless, this riot still seems to have marked a new high point for anti-state rioting in France. If this trend continues, will the French police still be willing to handle the problem? Or will they turn it over to the army?