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Monday, July 19, 2010

France riots as police keeps killing the underdogs

Is France heading for another massive urban revolt like the one in 2005? All suggests so even if the media is not paying much attention so far.

There were riots in Grenoble over the weekend as police killed Karim Boudouda, 27, allegedly member of an armed robbers' gang in what was perceived in his hometown of Grenoble by many people as an illegal execution with racist and classist undertones.

The authorities declared that the policemen acted in self-defense after Boudouda fired one shot.

While the conflict was still hot the Gendarmerie shot and killed another person known as "Luigi" (22, father of a young girl) who apparently forced his way through a road blockade at Sain-Romain-sur-Cher, in Central France.

In response a group of people, mostly masked and armed with iron bars and axes, assaulted and ravaged the local police station.

The two police agents are under preventive arrest.

The reaction of the authorities has been to treat the matter as a mere public order episode, deploying three extra police brigades in Grenoble and now sending in the Army as well to Saint Aignan.

There is some speculation that the murders may have been intentional in order to divert public opinion from the L'Orèal scandal that is tarnishing the image of President Sarkozy (the infamous fascist owners of L'Orèal illegally paid huge amounts to Sarko's presidential campaign). Sarkozy whose image of tough ruthless man was forged in the 2005 riots may therefore be trying to gain public support by repeating his more than dubious feats.

Whatever the case, the facts are that angry semi-organized mobs have been attacking property in the well-off suburbs of Grenoble, burning some cars, still far from the record of more than 300 destroyed in 2005.

Some 20 people have been arrested so far.

Source La Haine[es] (link 1, link 2)

Update (Jul 20): Gara informs today that the person killed at Saint Romain is Luigi Duquenet, of Roma ethnicity. The editorial opinion article of the Basque newspaper argues that militarization is not any solution when the problems of the suburban neighborhoods have been fed by the state. They argue that while the state does not properly address the marginalization of these areas, they will keep exploding cyclically at any provocation because the rage is there and is very much justified.

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