President Macron to Address Unrest in France; Mayor's Property Targeted in Escalating Violence
President Macron to Deliver Situation Report Amidst Unrest in France
France's President Macron is set to deliver a situation report today in response to the ongoing unrest. In the meantime, the grandmother of the slain teenager has appealed to the rioters. The previous night, however, witnessed a slightly calmer atmosphere.
Night Relatively Calm in France Due to Determined Efforts of Security Forces
"The night was calmer thanks to the determined efforts of the law enforcement authorities," tweeted France's Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, in the morning. He had mobilized 45,000 police officers, with 7,000 of them stationed in Paris alone, particularly securing the Champs Elysées. Calmer in France these days means there were only around 700 arrests instead of the previous 1,300, along with significantly fewer damaged buildings and cars.
Young Mayor's Property Targeted as Unrest Escalates
One of the affected properties belonged to Vincent Jeanbrun, the young mayor of L'Hay-les-Roses, a peaceful town located ten kilometers south of the Paris city center. Just two days ago, Jeanbrun had stated in the media:
"We receive no assistance from the state - there is no state of emergency, no national curfew. All we can do is barricade ourselves in the hope that it will be enough to keep the rioters away."
He promptly placed barricades around his modern town hall and wrapped them in barbed wire. However, the rioters knew his address, used a car as a battering ram to break through his gate, and poured accelerant from a water bottle onto his private car, which then caught fire. When his wife attempted to flee with their five and seven-year-old children, she was targeted with fireworks. She suffered a broken shin, requiring surgery. The children, however, were unharmed, as confirmed by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, who rushed to the town. "The little one fell and has a cut on her face, but there was blood everywhere."
"When we heard about it, we were all shocked," added Borne. "I came with the Interior Minister to assure them of the assistance of the entire government. No mayor will be left alone. We want to restore order as quickly as possible." The Prime Minister called on the justice system to respond with full force. Attempted murder charges are now being investigated. The Jeanbrun family will receive personal protection.
More Support Needed for Mayors?
Dozens of town halls across France have become targets in recent days. Political observer Christophe Barbier, speaking on BFM TV, therefore called for a reassessment of the state's relationship with mayors. He said, "It will be difficult to find someone willing to take on the role of mayor. The state must reconsider its relationship with mayors. They are often the first ones held responsible for anything, and they should also be the first ones protected by the state when threatened. In times of crisis, there should be an SOS Town Hall to send police or personal protection."
Shocked Residents Call for Action in Peaceful Town
Even the residents of the peaceful town are shocked: "The level of violence and aggression is enormous. They must make a decision!" A new crisis meeting has been scheduled. President Macron will address the situation. However, even now, the grandmother of the 17-year-old who was buried on Saturday appeals to all the rioters:
"Stop it! Nahel is just an excuse. They should stop smashing shop windows. They shouldn't damage schools or buses either. We have no cars; we have nothing! We don't want them to destroy everything!"