December 27, 2005


In French suburbs, rage 'is only asleep' (Katrin Bennhold, 12/26/05, International Herald Tribune)

"Burn!" A knot of young men join their voices in a battle cry as they edge closer to the silhouette of a parked Mercedes, some of them aiming what look like handguns, others reaching for lighters.

In the harsh light of an underground parking lot in this grim suburb northwest of Paris, the guns and lighters are imaginary - but the sense of aggression is real. As one of the young men films with a digital camera, the others move to the angry beat of music blasting out of an open car door, echoing into the dark December night.

They sing about the riots that erupted two months ago, about being Muslim and about not feeling French in France. For them the unrest is not over, it is waiting to break loose again.

Skinhead racist murders spark protests from foreign students (Jeremy Page in Moscow, 12/27/05, Times of London)

LIKE thousands of Africans every year, Kanhem Leon came to Russia in search of the education that would give him a better life back home in Cameroon. Instead, the devout Christian was stabbed by a gang of skinheads in St Petersburg on Christmas Eve and left to die in the snow.

Elsewhere, such a brutal attack might be regarded as a random act of violence. But not in Russia’s picturesque second city. Mr Leon, 28, was the second African student in as many months to have been murdered by skinheads in St Petersburg, and dozens more have been beaten or injured in knife attacks.

Foreign students have accused the Government of turning a blind eye to neo-Nazi “death squads” who openly patrol the city in combat fatigues and carry out regular attacks on non-Slavs with knives and clubs.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2005 8:03 AM
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