Quite astonishing

Hooded youths armed with iron bars have gone on the rampage in secondary schools in the tinderbox suburbs north of Paris, sparking more than 50 arrests.

The violence prompted the far-Right Front National to claim that the government had lost control in suburbs around France, prey to lawlessness, drug dealing and ethnic and religious tensions.

The teenagers threw stones at police cars, started fires and lobbed smoke bombs in three sixth form colleges in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

Ethnic and religious tensions, prey to, is pretty light as a description of the banlieues around Paris, isn’t it?

19 comments on “Quite astonishing

  1. Which is why nobody with half a brain goes to St Denis. So long as the trouble stays there and in other shitholes, the French don’t seem to mind.

  2. “Bernard Cazeneuve, the prime minister, accused Ms Le Pen of trying to “provoke and stoke disorder” to win votes in the first round of the presidential election next month. “

    That should read ‘trying to provoke and stoke more disorder’ surely?

  3. It doesn’t stay there, though.

    It kinda does. I’ve been living in Paris the last 3 years and I, always surprised by the videos and reports of areas of the city turning into Africa and riots, etc. I’ve never seen areas like this, and not a single French person I know has mentioned it. I think if any of these troublemakers turned up in the areas the middle classes go, the police would be in there breaking heads before you know it. I’m not saying the situation is good – it isn’t – but it is fairly well contained. No cars in my suburb got burned on New Year, and Arabic would be as useful as French around here.

  4. I’d strike religious from the article. The maghrébins des banlieues are about as likely to attend a weekly service as your average Catholic Frenchman, i.e once a year.

    Looking at how the French behaved in the 1968 riots, I’d say the newcomers have adopted local customs quite well.

  5. @ TN Will it stay in the banlieues though?

    France’s African/Muslim population is rocketing isn’t it? Employment isn’t.

  6. I’d strike religious from the article. The maghrébins des banlieues are about as likely to attend a weekly service as your average Catholic Frenchman, i.e once a year.

    Your average Catholic Irish republican would be the better comparison.

  7. In the UK, if ethnic rioters turned up in middle class areas, the police would be more likely to arrest the residents or crack their heads. All they need is a sniff of a hate crime.

    “Hey, plod, this muzzie bastard is touching my wife and daughters.”

    “Hate speech coupled with lack of respect for other people’s culture, you’re coming with me, sunshine, and if your wife and daughters carry on screaming, I’ll nick them for disturbing the peace.”

  8. It is only a matter of time–and growing numbers–before these YONA “teenagers” start costing lives.

    It would be a well deserved irony if some of 1968’s funsters were to end up among the elderly victims.

  9. @TimN
    I was with a Parisienne* at a cafe in Forum Les Halles, some years ago. She’s, what would in the UK, be a member of the Guardian reading classes. Enthusiastically, very left wing. Arts graduate. Environmentalist. The conversation was interrupted by a squad of police – black clad, trousers tucked into paratroop boots, black leather gloves, heavily armed with automatic weapons – escorting a group of youths. None too gently. Driving them with rifle butts might be a better description.
    I asked what that was all about. She disinterestedly dismissed it with “Oh, they’re black. Shouldn’t be in here.” No-one else seemed bothered either. There’s a slight difference in attitude towards minorities, France to UK.

    *The family’s pied-noirs. Her father was one of the guys plotted to off De Gaulle, back in the sixties. Lived in exile outside Barcelona.. French politics isn’t quite UK, either..

  10. I used to go to St Denis fairly regularly about 15 years ago. It didn’t seem to be a problem area then.

  11. “French sixth form pupils set fire to school and run ‘unprecedented’ rampage in Paris suburb .. ”

    ” Unprecedented”, really?

  12. I used to go to St Denis fairly regularly about 15 years ago. It didn’t seem to be a problem area then.

    I drove through it not so long ago. The rioting and violence isn’t 24/7, just as the same as when I went to Manchester in the 1990s I found Moss Side a shithole but not a war zone as some people think it was. St Denis is best avoided, and few normal people have a reason to go there, but it’s not like going to ISIS controlled territory. Not yet, anyway.

  13. Ah, I was at school in Moss Side in the late 80s; perhaps that’s why St Denis seemed normal.

  14. It is all fun and games until their numbers mean that these youth will be the policemen policing your neighbourhood.

    Enough Muslims have got a Muslim mayor of London. How long until Paris falls?

  15. St Denis is best avoided, and few normal people have a reason to go there

    There’s the Basilica and the Légion d’Honneur Park, but if you’re thinking of going as a tourist, use the Metro to pop straight up and then down again, do not use the ordinary trains (to Gare du Nord).

  16. “Ah, I was at school in Moss Side in the late 80s; perhaps that’s why St Denis seemed normal.”

    My idealistic cousin* was a social worker in Moss Side. She’s no longer idealistic, or a social worker.

    * Her father would have thought Jeremy Corbyn right wing.

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