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November 12, 2005
Riots Move To The City

The BBC reports that riots have moved out of the darkness and into the city center in Lyon this afternoon. A show of force by police in the hours before a curfew was due to be imposed did not get its intended dampening effect:

Police in the French city of Lyon have fired tear gas to break up groups of youths who hurled stones and bins hours before a curfew was due to begin.

Police on the city's famous Place Bellecour square made two arrests in what state news agency AFP says is the first rioting in a major city centre. ...

The trouble in Lyon began at about 1700 (1600 GMT) on Place Bellecour where a large number of riot police were on duty as a preventative measure. About 50 youths attacked stalls and damaged vehicles, witnesses were quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Tonight might show an even greater shift for the riots back to the center of French cities and political life. Rioters in Lyon apparently had some idea of what to expect from the police and had already prepared their counterstrategy. If anything will happen, the action will emerge in the next few houras. At the least, the French notion that the violence had lost momentum appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 12, 2005 3:10 PM

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