France reinforces police deployment, but violence continues with "lower intensity"

France reinforces police deployment, but violence continues with "lower intensity"

June 30, 2023, 10:36 PM

June 30, 2023, 10:36 PM

France deployed armored vehicles and 45,000 police officers on Friday to contain the riots caused by the death of a young man shot by an agent which, although “with less intensity”, continued for the fourth night with almost 500 detainees.

On the eve of the funeral of 17-year-old Nahel, the centrist president Emmanuel Macron reinforced security measures and appealed directly to the parents of the minors who have participated in the three previous nights of protests.

His Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, announced the deployment of 45,000 agents in the country and authorized the mobilization of armored units of the gendarmeriea military body that has public security powers.

However, the night again brought destruction, looting and projectile launching against police vans, who responded with tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Around 02:30 (00:30 GMT), the minister announced that they had arrested 471 peoplebut noted that the violence was “of a much lower intensity”, with some regions very quiet.

Riots broke out in the Paris suburbs on Tuesday and spread across the country after 17-year-old Nahel was shot dead at point-blank range by an officer during a traffic checkpoint in Nanterre, west of the capital.

The day of greatest tension, Thursday, resulted in 875 arrests and 249 injured agents, as well as 492 buildings attacked and 2,000 burned-out vehicles.

“Wild Hordes”
Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said “all options” would be explored, including the state of emergency that ask for the right and the extreme right, finally opted to reinforce the number of agents and deploy the armored vehicles.

On your part, Macron also called for “responsibility” from social networks such as TikTok or Snapchat, to whom he demanded that they remove content linked to the protests and identify their users.

The government is under pressure, between the right and the extreme right who ask for a strong hand and those who demand appeasement measures.

Two police unions, including the majority Alliance, called in a statement to the “combat” against the “savage hordes” who are leading the riots and warned the government that “they will go into resistance” once the crisis is over.

The left-wing opposition condemned the statement, calling it a “threat of sedition” and “call for civil war”.

Without referring to the text, the mMinister of the Interior appealed to the agents to “respect the laws and deontology” and stressed that a “minority of criminals does not represent the vast majority of the inhabitants of poor neighborhoods”.

In an attempt to calm the situation, the French soccer team, led by Kylian Mbappé, said in a statement that “the time of violence must stop” and make room for “peaceful and constructive ways of expressing oneself.”

“Since this tragic event, we have witnessed the expression of popular anger that we understand deep down, but we cannot accept in form,” the footballers wrote.

new incidents

But the violence and acts of vandalism They emerged on Friday night, especially in Lyon (east) and in Marseille, the second largest city in France, where the Interior Ministry sent reinforcements.

“Everyone hates the police,” sang a group of young people, many with their faces covered, in this port city where the looting, burning and launching projectiles against the policewhich detained almost 90 people.

Authorities imposed curfews in at least three towns in the Paris region and several others across the country.

Minister Darmanin requested the suspension of large events such as concerts, the public tram and bus service from 9:00 p.m. and the sale of rockets, fuel drums and flammable products.

The events relaunched the debate on the police violence in Francewhere in 2022 13 people died in circumstances similar to those of Nahel, and on the forces of order, seen as racist by part of the population.

The UN asked the French authorities to deal seriously with the “deep” problems of “racism and racial discrimination” in its security forces, accusations that the Foreign Ministry described as “totally unfounded”.

Several European countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway have warned their citizens in France to avoid riot zones and to exercise caution.

The president of the main hotel employers’ union, Thierry Max, in turn warned of the wave of cancellations in areas affected by violence.

Nahel’s funeral will take place on Saturday, announced the mayor of Nanterre, Patrick Jarry.

Mounia, the victim’s mother, told France 5 that I didn’t blame the policebut only the agent who took his son’s life.

justice decreed pretrial detention for voluntary manslaughter for the 38-year-old agent who shot, who, according to his lawyer, asked Nahel’s “family for forgiveness.”

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