Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What's the Matter with 'Youths' These Days?

What is it about French “youths” that gives them the impulse to riot and attack policemen?

Maybe it’s all the rich sauces.

Today the New York Times reports 80 French police officers were injured in clashes last night with “youths,” (“77 Police Officers Injured in Paris Riots”), some “youths” using “hunting shotguns as well as more conventional guns, fire bombs and rocks.”

The only clue the Times provides as to who these youths are is to say the clashes are happening “in a working- and lower-class suburb north of Paris.”

A couple days ago Jihad Watch noticed the situation brewing.

"Youths" rioting again in Paris suburbs

"A brother of one of the dead teenagers, Omar Sehhouli, said the rioting 'was not violence but an expression of rage.'" Right.

Omar Sehhouli. Typical French Catholic youth, I suppose. Note the non-specifics about the perpetrators, and the frequent recourse to passive voice.

"Riots break out in Paris suburbs," from the BBC (thanks to all who sent this in):

Youths have damaged police stations, shops and cars in two Paris suburbs, following the deaths of two teenagers whose motorbike hit a police car.

Police said 21 officers were injured in the rioting in the northern suburbs of Villiers-le-Bel and Arnouville.

The Villiers-le-Bel police station was set ablaze and another in Arnouville was pillaged, police say. At least seven people were arrested.

The violence - reminiscent of riots in 2005 - lasted for more than six hours.

In 2005, the deaths of two youths in nearby Clichy-sous-Bois led to France's worst civil unrest in more than 40 years.

Clashes broke out on Sunday night after two teenagers - aged 15 and 16 - were killed when the motorcycle they were driving collided with a police car.

Police sources said the two were riding a stolen mini-motorcycle, and that neither was wearing a helmet.

The police car was on a routine patrol and the teenagers were not being chased by police at the time of the accident, police said. The collision wrecked the front of the car and smashed the windscreen.

Burning cars

Witnesses have accused the police of leaving the scene and of preventing local people from trying to help the youngsters as they lay in the road. The brother of one of the victims has called for the officers involved to be convicted.

After the accident, dozens of youths went on a rampage, setting the police station in Villiers-le-Bel on fire, ransacking the Arnouville police station and torching two petrol stations.
Riot police were sent to the area, but youths blocked their way with burning cars.

French media report that the rioters also damaged the Arnouville-Villiers-le-Bel railway station and nearby shops.

The mayor of Villers-le-Bel, Didier Vaillant, appealed for calm and said he would ensure there was "an impartial investigation, for full light to be shed" on the accident.

A brother of one of the dead teenagers, Omar Sehhouli, said the rioting "was not violence but an expression of rage".

Our Paris geography isn’t quite good enough to recognize if the clashes are taking place in one of the “The 751 No-Go Zones of France.”

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