Fear of Another Night of Violence
Night after night, cars, schools, and supermarkets are currently burning in France in protest against the death of a 17-year-old from a police bullet. President Macron has now postponed his visit to Germany, as the riots are expected to continue.
The postponement of the state visit is shameful but necessary, according to the opinion of many observers in France. Philipp Delpech, a journalist at the television channel TF1, expresses what many people in the country think: "What kind of image is France projecting abroad?" The president surely canceled this visit with a heavy heart, but it's already the second cancellation after the state visit of British King Charles III was postponed in March due to pension protests. "Two cancellations so close together. France's image abroad is tarnished."
And this comes just one year before the Olympic Games that France will host in the summer of 2024. To regain control of the current situation, local authorities have banned demonstrations. In addition, it has been ordered in many places that public transportation should no longer operate in the evenings.
A specialized unit, CRS 8, trained specifically for combating violence in the city, will support the police in Lyon, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. Lyon and Marseille experienced the most severe unrest on Saturday night. Cafes, kiosks, and retailers were attacked, windows shattered, goods looted, and establishments destroyed. "Enough is enough - basta!"
Philippe Korcia, the business leader of the region, called for tough action on BFM TV.
I'm telling you calmly, I'm trying to calm everyone down. And we are not calm people in Marseille; we are hotheads. If we don't want this to continue and if business owners want to defend themselves, we need to find a solution. On behalf of the business community, I have called for the deployment of armored vehicles.
We have just overcome the pandemic and the energy crisis, said Korcia. "That was tough for all of us. And now we have a security crisis on top of it. Enough is enough - basta!"
Even a gun store was looted, and this happened in Marseille, a city plagued by drug gang wars. It is thanks to the intervention of a special unit that the looters did not have time to reach the ammunition room.
Attack on cars, schools, town halls, and supermarkets
Overall, 1,300 people were temporarily arrested nationwide last night. 1,350 cars were set on fire, and more than 260 buildings were demolished or set ablaze, including schools, town halls, and supermarkets.
For example, in Bondy, residents of the eastern suburb of Paris are shaken. "I don't know where to go shopping now. I don't have a car," says one woman. Another one says, "At night, I'm afraid that fireworks will hit our balcony window. I'm scared for my children. I can't sleep anymore."
Meanwhile, in the afternoon, the funeral of the 17-year-old boy killed on Tuesday took place. According to the AFP news agency, a large crowd gathered at the funeral hall, and eyewitnesses report that the atmosphere was very tense.