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Paris Riots Could Color France’s Presidential Election if Violence Persists

Paris Riots Could Color France’s Presidential Election if Violence Persists

Paris Riots Could Color France’s Presidential Election if Violence Persists
February 14
15:34 2017

If the suburbs of Paris are unable to subdue rioters, the dynamics of the French presidential election campaign are likely to change, journalist Thomas Guenole told Sputnik France.

In an interview with reporters, journalist Thomas Guenole predicted a change would occur in the dynamics of the French presidential election campaign if people continue to protest in the suburbs of Paris.

The interview came amid reports of ongoing violence in at least 11 communes in the suburbs of Paris, including Argenteuil, Clichy-sous —Bois, Nanterre, Drancy and Les Uli.1026656521

Instances of vandalism as well as attacks on journalists and police stations in these communes were preceded by the detention of 37 people following anti-police protests in the town of Bobigny in the Paris suburbs.


Late last week, some 2,000 people participated in a rally after police officers allegedly beat a 22-year-old black man named Theo and sodomized him with a truncheon in the northern Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, according to the Independent.

The crowd, demanding “Justice for Theo” was dispersed by police that used tear gas after several hundred protesters started pelting the police with different objects and set several cars on fire.1050654646

The arrests took place across the Seine-Saint-Denis department, the administrative center of which is Bobigny, the broadcaster French Europe 1 reported, citing a police source last Sunday.

The news outlet added at the time that after the end of the protest in Bobigny, several incidents took place both in the town and in the neighboring communes.

Speaking to Sputnik France, Thomas Guenole warned of grave consequences if riots persist outside the French capital. According to him, Paris and its suburbs may see fresh violence “at any moment.”

“If these riots continue, ‘people from the suburbs’ will become the main topic of the election campaign with all that this implies, including security demands and the denigration of young people living in the suburbs. So we will turn a blind eye to the concrete and urgent problems concerning, in particular, the police policy that has been pursued in the past 15 years in France,” he said.CywYsME1WBw

Touching upon this policy, Guenole specifically slammed the decision to abolish district police officers in France, which he said had left police in the suburbs without support.

He also lashed out at police for conducting racial and ethnic profiling during personal identity checks.

“They [police] are doing so in order to increase statistics and detain more illegal migrants. By practicing such massive identity checks, they fuel tension between the police and young pic_22ae90d127db59caa8589683b9cdccd1people from the suburbs who as a rule are not white. And this is a problem which is being hushed up,” he pointed out.

Last but not least, the French police’s HR policy is becoming more and more chaotic, according to Guenole.

French criminologist Xavier Raufer, for his part, told Sputnik France that it is French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve who should bear responsibility for the situation.

“I have repeatedly said that Mr. Cazeneuve’s team and the state-run media simply deny the obvious fact, and each day they add a new layer of make-up on the corpse of security in France which, as we see, is decomposing,” Raufer said.1018004448

Earlier, sociologist Gerard Mauger said that he didn’t expect the current riots to degenerate into the kind of mass-scale violence that erupted in the

suburbs of Paris and other French cities in November 2005. During the protests 12 years ago, many cars and public buildings were torched by ethnic Arabs and other Muslims in retaliation for an incident where two boys had been electrocuted while hiding in an electric substation to evade police.

He said that, unlike the events of 12 years ago, the media was no longer stoking up public emotions, and one of the four police officers involved in the incident with Theo had already been charged with rape, while three others were charged with aggravated assault. The victim himself has called for calm.

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Edward Bokhua

Edward Bokhua

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