Lockdown conditions spark more unrest in French suburbs

Police Accused of Heavy-Handedness as Rioting Continues for the Fourth Consecutive Night

Mary Colombel and Anelise Borges – Euronews April 22, 2020

For a fourth consecutive night, residents clashed with police on Tuesday while cars and rubbish bins were set on fire as residents living under lockdown protested over what they call heavy-handed tactics.

They say authorities have taken advantage of their special mandate to enforce restrictions and police have harassed, humiliated and even abused them.

The sale of fireworks has been temporarily banned after demonstrators launched some at police.

Parts of a school in Genevilliers were torched by rioters but authorities say the situation is under control.

They don’t think this will turn into a long series of riots as has previously happened after similar incidents in these neighbourhoods.

“Compared to what, too often, usually happens, and considering the people involved, the acts perpetrated are not too serious”, said Stéphane Peu, the government’s representative for Saine Saint-Denis.

Nine people were arrested in connection with the school fire and another ten in other suburbs for possession of fireworks or on suspicion of gathering to commit violence. The government said the violence was unacceptable.

“We condemn this violence and we are sending internal security forces to all the districts of the national territory and in particular to the most sensitive districts so that public order is permanently assured “, the government spokesperson, Sibeth Ndiaye, declared after the Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

What caused the increase in violence?

Villeneuve la Garenne, a suburb North-West of Paris has been at the centre of this flare-up. On Saturday a 30-year-old man on a motorbike was injured after he hit the car door of an unmarked police car there and several residents filmed the incident. They say the policeman deliberately injured the man by opening the door in front of his vehicle.

Now in hospital, he has appealed for calm, but residents say this is proof of the harassment they have been subjected to by police since the beginning of the lockdown. They say the police have taken advantage of their special mandate to humiliate them, harass them and sometimes abuse them.

Authorities say an investigation has been launched into Saturday’s incident.

Residents in poorer neighbourhoods struggle under lockdown

France has been on lockdown for over a month now and restrictions are taking their toll on poorer neighbourhoods with many residents of the northern suburbs of Paris struggling to make ends meet.

“I work with special educational needs but kids are out of school now and I have to stop until this is over. There is nothing else to do, there’s no money coming in. My mum is still getting paid but I get nothing”, a resident of Clichy-sous-Bois told Euronews.

Source

2 responses to “Lockdown conditions spark more unrest in French suburbs”

  1. “What caused the increase in violence?”
    Well, they WERE imported to help destroy the community that is France. They WOULD have rioted at home – if there’d been more to rape, pillage or destroy there.
    (Pretending that blacks are naturally as ‘peaceful’ or ‘intelligent’ as other races is just as stupid as maintaining that Japanese can play basketball as well as blacks can.)
    We can say that Asians are smarter, on average than white people. We can say “White men can’t jump” but we can’t say “Blacks don’t have as high IQs as whites”, even though it’s proven true.

  2. Good old Frenches! At least some people have some backbone!