The mayors of France are urging people and elected officials to come together at town halls throughout the country on Monday. This gathering is intended to demonstrate a strong opposition to the ongoing violent protests that have been happening for almost a week.
The government has been dealing with nightly riots and looting since a 17-year-old named Nahel M. was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday. This incident has brought up long-standing accusations of racism within the French police force.
After the mayor of a Paris suburb had their home attacked with a flaming car, there has been a strong call for citizens to come together and restore order. This incident has caused a lot of anger and shock among the public.
The association of the country’s mayors mentioned in a press release that there is widespread unrest happening in communes all over France. This unrest involves extreme acts of violence targeting symbols of the republic.
The interior ministry has announced that in order to address one of President Emmanuel Macron’s biggest challenges since he assumed office in 2017, they will be deploying 45,000 police and gendarmes across the country from Sunday night to Monday morning. This is the same number as the previous two nights.
According to the interior ministry, as of 1:30 am on Monday, a total of 78 individuals had been arrested in connection with the nationwide unrest. This number is significantly lower compared to the previous night’s arrests.
Please refrain from participating in any acts of rioting.
On Sunday, Nahel’s grandmother reached out to urge everyone to stay calm, emphasizing that the rioters were merely using his death as an excuse.
Nahel’s grandmother, Nadia, urged everyone to stop and avoid rioting during her interview with BFM television.
I would like to address those who are participating in the riots and kindly request that you refrain from smashing windows, attacking schools, or damaging buses. Stop! The moms are the ones who take the bus, the moms are the ones who walk outside.
Nadia mentioned that she was feeling tired and then said, “Nahel, he’s dead.” I’m sorry to hear that your daughter is going through a difficult time. It must be tough for her to have only one child and feel like her life is over. They caused me to lose my daughter and my grandson, unfortunately.
Meanwhile, politicians expressed their condemnation of the attack on Vincent Jeanbrun’s residence. Vincent Jeanbrun is the right-wing mayor of L’Hay-les-Roses, a town located outside Paris. According to prosecutors, the assailants deliberately drove a burning car into his home with the intention of setting it on fire.
Jeanbrun’s wife and children, who are five and seven years old, were at home. Meanwhile, Jeanbrun himself was at the town hall handling the riots. According to prosecutors, his wife was seriously injured with a broken leg. They have now launched an investigation into attempted murder.
The mayor expressed in a statement that last night witnessed a new level of horror and disgrace.
When Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne visited L’Hay-les-Roses, she informed reporters that, in general, the situation was calmer compared to previous days.
The act we witnessed this morning here is truly shocking. She emphasized that we will not tolerate any violence going unpunished and called for the perpetrators to be sanctioned with the highest level of severity.
There is a new crisis happening.
Around 7,000 police officers were sent to Paris and its suburbs, specifically the famous Champs Elysees avenue, which is a popular tourist destination. This action was taken in response to social media calls urging protesters to bring their rioting to the city center.
The Paris police chief, Laurent Nunez, appeared on BFM television and warned that even though the evening was relatively calm, nobody should assume that the situation is completely under control.
The protests are causing a new problem for Macron. He had hoped to continue with his plans for his second term after dealing with months of demonstrations earlier this year about raising the retirement age.
People outside of France are becoming worried due to the recent unrest. This is because France is scheduled to host the Rugby World Cup in the autumn and the Paris Olympic Games in the summer of 2024.
Macron had to delay his planned state visit to Germany, which was supposed to start on Sunday. This shows how serious the situation is in his own country.
“I am definitely concerned about the riots, and I truly hope that the French president will take necessary measures to swiftly improve the situation,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in an interview with broadcaster ARD.
According to the Elysee, Macron led a crisis meeting on Sunday with government ministers.
According to a statement from his office, he will be meeting with the heads of the two chambers of parliament on Monday, and on Tuesday, he will be meeting with the mayors of over 220 towns affected by the unrest.
In the meantime, the organizers of the Tour de France mentioned that they are closely monitoring the situation. The cycling race is getting ready to enter France on Monday, after spending two days in the Spanish Basque country.
A police officer who is 38 years old has been accused of committing voluntary homicide in the case of Nahel’s death. The officer has been taken into custody while awaiting further legal proceedings.
This man should be held accountable, just like everyone else. People who engage in rioting and attack the police should also face consequences for their actions. Nahel’s grandmother expressed her belief in justice.