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November 12, 2005
French Riots Gain Steam Again Over The Weekend

Although no one would know this by reading American newspapers, which now follow the French lead and refuse to report on the ongoing uprising, but the riots in France once again started to rise in intensity, even by the odd metric given by police. The BBC reports that over 500 cars got torched last night despite a heavier police presence that resulted from intelligence that points to a massive demonstration sometime this weekend:

A ban on all public meetings likely to provoke disturbances has come into effect in the French capital. The move - imposed under new emergency measures - started at 0900 GMT and will remain in force until Sunday morning. ...

Rioting that erupted two weeks ago is now less intense across France, but unrest continued on Friday night, as more than 500 cars were set on fire.

Two police officers were wounded and 206 people were detained across the country. This was an increase on the previous night, when 395 vehicles were torched and 168 people were arrested.

The arrests have not stamped out the nightly riots, and neither has a heavy police presence, although the latter seems to displace the violence to other, less-patrolled areas. The French now have suspended speech and assembly rights in its capital to avoid further protest, but have shown little ability over the past two weeks to enforce it. After all, they have hardly been able to enforce the existing laws against arson.

An early and forceful response to this unrest would have stopped it in its tracks. Now, however, the French have once again exposed themselves as ineffectual and uncommitted to their own defense. Their media now refuses to inform their customers of the continuing failure of their government in order to keep the vacillators from getting kicked out of office.

The peak of the rioting passed as the wannabes and the bandwagoners have gone back to their own lives. The core of this uprising has not left at all, and in fact appear to be once again gaining momentum despite more police in the streets. These riots have organization, resilience, and structure -- and where those elements exist, so does strategic thinking. The media may chalk this up to youthful frustration over unemployment and discrimination, but that fails as an explanation more with each passing day.

When do the American media plan on reporting this again? Sometime after the Champs-Elysees burns?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 12, 2005 9:37 AM

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