June 1, 2006


Clashes in Paris Suburbs Recall Riots of Fall (Molly Moore, June 1, 2006, Washington Post)

Small gangs of youths pelted riot police with rocks and set cars and garbage bins ablaze late Tuesday in a second night of unrest in the Paris suburbs, raising fears of a return of the disturbances that inflamed 300 French towns and suburbs last fall.

The violence of the last two nights -- in which youths attacked police cars, government buildings and riot police -- was sparked in part by mounting resentment toward the mayor of the northeastern Paris suburb of Montfermeil, who in recent weeks imposed a law prohibiting 15- to 18-year-olds from gathering in groups of more than three and requiring anyone under 16 to be accompanied by an adult on city streets after 8 p.m.

The French government last fall promised to improve living conditions and job opportunities in suburbs heavily populated by immigrant families and where unemployment is rampant, but little has been done and the government's main initiative -- a youth jobs bill -- ended with this spring's politically disastrous student demonstrations.

At the same time, police have said crime has increased in poor suburban neighborhoods, and frustration with the government has continued to fester.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2006 8:06 AM
Comments for this post are closed.