In the United States, we celebrate Independence Day with barbeques and fireworks.Â In France, they spend Bastille DayÂ torching hundreds of cars.
* Remember: Sarkozy was elected because he promised to restore law & order…
French youths burned 317 cars and wounded 13 police officers overnight during the now traditional bout of street violence on the eve of the Bastille Day national holiday, police say.
As French troops and their guests of honour from the Indian army made last minute preparations for the July 14 parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, the suburbs of major cities were contemplating another clean-up operation.
By 6:00am (2pm AEST), police headquarters in Paris had recorded 317 burnt out cars – up 6.7 percent on 2008 – and 240 arrests, almost double the total for the same period last year.
These numbers were expected to increase as fresh reports came in.
The injured officers, 12 members of the police and one gendarme, were mainly suffering from hearing difficulties after being targeted by youths throwing fireworks and small-scale home-made explosives.
Since when is wanton destruction of property an acceptable and traditional means of celebrating the overthrow of the monarchy in France?Â
It hasn’t, but the government has been unable to stop the torching of cars throughout the banlieues which are attributed to disaffected youth who can’t find jobs and have bleak futures because the French can’t integrate foreigners into their culture. (That statement is -of course- completely false: Muslims are not in France or anywhere else in Europe to integrate, but to make the host country Islamic. That’s the root of this global conflict, and this is generally denied./ed)
No PasaranÂ has more on the “traditional” events.
This year’s carbeques are worse than prior years possibly because of ongoingÂ clashes between rioters and police in a French townÂ following the death of a suspect in custody. Police say the death was a suicide, but there are calls for a more thorough investigation. The rioters think the police are to blame, soÂ they torch buildings and cars.
French riot police firing teargas and plastic bullets have struggled to contain three nights of rioting and arson by youths on suburban estates in the Loire, amid protests over the death of a 21-year-old in police custody.
High-rises in Firminy, a small town bordering countryside on the outskirts of Saint-Ã‰tienne, saw running battles between police and youths in the early hours of this morning after Mohamed Benmouna, a local supermarket cashier, was taken from his police cell in a coma and died in hospital.
Benmouna, who had been arrested on extortion charges, died on Wednesday. Police said he attempted to hang himself in his cell and fell into a coma. His Algerian family, sceptical of the official story, have filed a lawsuit to establish the circumstances of his death and whether police violence was covered up.
The local state prosecutor, Jacques Pin, said a postmortem confirmed Benmouna died of suffocation and his body showed no trace of violence or police abuse. But he said video surveillance equipment that would normally have filmed Benmouna’s cell was not functioning properly. The police inspectorate has opened an investigation.
Quote of the day:
“ If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.
“There may be even a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves”