In Paris, people started protesting at town halls on Monday to show their opposition to the violent protests that have been happening for almost a week. These protests were sparked by the fatal shooting of a teenager by the police. However, there are some indications that the situation is starting to calm down.
The government has been dealing with riots and looting recently. A police officer shot and killed Nahel M., a 17-year-old, during a traffic stop on Tuesday. This incident has brought back longstanding accusations of racism against the French police force.
The Interior Ministry reported that a fireman lost his life while trying to extinguish burning vehicles north of Paris during the sixth night of unrest. However, it is uncertain whether this incident is connected to the ongoing violent protests.
On Monday, there were demonstrations that aimed to mobilize citizens for a return to republican order. These protests were organized in response to an incident where the mayor of a Paris suburb had their home attacked by a flaming car, which caused a lot of anger and shock among the public.
The association of the country’s mayors stated that there is widespread unrest happening all over France. They mentioned that there is serious violence being directed towards republican symbols.
The Interior Ministry has once again sent out 45,000 police and gendarmes across the country to address a major challenge that President Emmanuel Macron has been facing since he assumed office in 2017. This deployment took place overnight from Sunday to Monday, which is the same number of personnel deployed in the previous two nights.
According to the Interior Ministry, a total of 157 individuals were arrested across the country in connection with the recent unrest. This number is significantly lower compared to the larger number of arrests made the previous night. Additionally, three police officers sustained injuries.
According to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, during a visit to the city of Reims, around 3,200 people have been arrested in the recent riots. The average age of those arrested was 17, and shockingly, some of them were as young as 12 or 13 years old. It’s truly disheartening to see children involved in such violent acts.
According to a police source, investigators from internal affairs have started interviewing a passenger who was in the car driven by Nahel, who did not have a license.
In the meantime, the family of the 38-year-old policeman who is facing charges of voluntary manslaughter has received a collection that has exceeded €930,000 (equivalent to over $1.0 million).
Vincent Jeanbrun, the mayor of L’Hay-les-Roses near Paris who holds conservative views, experienced a distressing incident when his home was targeted by someone who intentionally crashed a car into it and set it on fire. Unfortunately, his wife, who was at home with their five and seven-year-old children, suffered a broken leg as a result.
People from various political backgrounds, including those on the hard left, expressed their condemnation of the attack. Additionally, prosecutors have initiated an investigation into the incident, treating it as an attempted murder case.
Jeanbrun stated on TF1 late Sunday that it is clear that the individuals involved had the intention of setting the house on fire. Furthermore, even after realizing that there was someone inside, they did not hesitate to continue their destructive actions by launching a barrage of fireworks mortars.
He added, “I could never have imagined that my family would be in danger of losing their lives.”
According to Darmanin, the fireman who tragically lost his life was 24 years old. He was bravely battling a fire in an underground car park located in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, which is situated to the north of the capital.
The Interior Ministry has stated that they are currently conducting an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the vehicle fires.
According to an anonymous police source, it is unlikely that there is any connection to the riots. The source mentioned that making such a claim would be an exaggeration. It’s highly unlikely that this is the case. This area is not affected by urban violence.
On Sunday, Nadia, who is Nahel’s grandmother and has Algerian roots, expressed her opinion that the rioters were simply using his death as an excuse. She also appealed for everyone to remain calm.
While it seems like the violence is decreasing, there are still unanswered questions about where it all started.
“I can’t understand why anyone would support the act of smashing and burning things,” expressed Fatiha Abdouni, a 52-year-old founder of a women’s association in Nahel’s hometown of Nanterre.
However, she added, “We must now pay attention to the voices of young people, their feelings of frustration and anger.”
According to Abdouni, young people in the disadvantaged suburbs of Paris experience various challenges on a daily basis, such as limited opportunities for education, employment, and housing. He believes that the violence was ignited by the tragic death of Nahel, which acted as a catalyst.
Regional authorities in the greater Paris area of Ile-de-France, the Grand Est region bordering Germany, and the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region along the Mediterranean, have recently announced that they will be providing emergency financial support in the form of tens of millions of euros. This support is intended to help repair public buildings and assist small businesses in these areas.
The protests are causing a new problem for Macron. He had hoped to focus on his plans for his second term after dealing with months of demonstrations earlier this year about increasing the retirement age.
On Sunday evening, Macron held a meeting with important ministers. During the meeting, he gave an instruction to thoroughly and carefully analyze the underlying causes of these events. A presidential official, who preferred to remain anonymous, shared this information.
According to the Elysee, he is scheduled to meet with the heads of the two chambers of parliament on Monday. Additionally, he will meet with the mayors of over 220 towns affected by the unrest on Tuesday.
There are growing concerns overseas due to the recent unrest. This is particularly worrisome because France is set to host the Rugby World Cup later this year and the Paris Olympic Games in 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.