Fri 4 Nov, 2005 07:12 am
The title is from a film in the 1960s about the Nazi plan to burn Paris as the Allies approached. It is now an a propos title for a very different reason. Last night was the eighth consecutive night of rioting in the area of Paris. Police last night denied that they had been fired on by the local gangs, but acknowledged a heavy wave of incendiary incidents--more than 400 automobiles were said to have been torched overnight. So far, the rioting is largely confined to the area of Paris, although there is a report that some rioting in Normandy. The spark which ignited the fire in Paris was the death of two young men of north African origin--they hid from the police in an electric company transformer station, and there died of electrocution. An interview which i heard yesterday of young Muslims of North African origin had one young man stating that although they are French, because they don't have names like Denis or Antoine, because they are obviously Muslim, no one cares about their fate, and they are targets of a christian police force.
Is Paris burning? Yes--and the end may not yet be in sight.
I just heard a little about it on the radio but, not much.
Here's some reporting from different news sources . . .
Suburbs burn in worst night of Paris riots
The poor suburbs of Paris were set ablaze in the worst of eight consecutive nights of rioting, with 500 cars torched and a gym and primary school razed.
Police today reported that the wave of unrest has now spread to at least 20 provincial towns.
(The Times of London)
Paris riots enter second week
For the eighth night running, urban violence has wreaked havoc in the suburbs of Paris and, for the first time, disturbances have spread to provincial French towns.
Deep roots of Paris riots
AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS, FRANCE The fire engine and police sirens blaring through the darkness Wednesday night, as officers raced to put out yet another fire set by angry youths in this poor Paris suburb, signaled more than an immediate warning of danger.
From ABC News & the Christian Science Monitor
Sorry that the post is all screwed up, but i can no longer edit it, as you have replied. I do think you'll find this an interesting topic. As i've been typing this, CBC has been interviewing Muslim leaders in France.
A spokesman for the National Front (or whatever the French call it) is saying they have brought this on themselves by coddling Muslims. He says they should have cracked down hard on the first night.
"Brennt" is with two 'n's". :wink:
some commentator compared it to the race riots in detroit and los angelos that shook up the united sates; perhaps it'll help the french to realize that a better effort will have to be made to give the "guest workers" a place at the table. hbg
Actually, they are no 'guest workers' but French citizens (mostly) and unfortunately (mostly) no workers but either without work (and perspectives) or still pupils.
i understand that they are not guestworkers in the old sense - many even have been born in france, i believe. however i just read an editorial in the "toronto star" that many of the "north-african" youth (even as french citizens) have a tough time to be accepted into french society. living in ghettos no doubt doesn't help the situation. the writer also claimed that the unemployment rate of these young people is double that of the french population in general - he called them "a lost and angry generation". hbg
just found this thread.
Have posted a little on the banlieu thread and Lusatian's, whatever that title is.
My impression, not from being anywhere near Paris, but from a moderate bit of reading, is that the tension is primarily economic frustration - but that some part of that economic frustration likely is a result of antimuslim bias - and that economic frustration is by itself isolating in nature.
So, three kinds of isolation happening:
- physical as in the high rise enclaving in the suburbs for worker housing (though all of that housing wasn't, I don't think, built for immigrant workers)
- ethnic/racial as people gather together and are found to be threatening as a group
- and economic, which keeps people to some extent from getting around, getting education and training.
And I guess a fourth,
- self isolation for comfort and support.
And I guess a fourth,
- self isolation for comfort and support.
You guess that ... why?
They were settled there, even some communities were built especially for them ... more or less out of nothing.
'Support' was (and is) one of the ideas within in this "idea of a ghetto".
is a good example for the latter.
Actually, they got (and still could get) education - up to colleges and universities (Paris University numbers up to 'Paris Université Nº 13 plus a handfull named just by the place where they are situated.)
But at some point - which might happened now - students think: 'why getting educated and then get jobless with a degree'? (Another point would be that these degrees would easily identify your whereabout.)
Any ghetto - in my opinion - doesn't work any good over a longer period ... for those, lving in there.
And it isn't any good for those living outsite: see the results now.
On the other hand, to be honest, mixed places can only 'work' properly, when they do get mixed with different people.
What I know, at first you get immigrants, jobless there. Then perhaps the elderly and some intellectuals.
The next few are those, who came there by bad luck.
And two years later, you got a new ghetto - this time via a 'detour'.
I mean, I really know what I am speaking about: worked more than one year as a 'co-ordinator' in a 'ghetto' of 2.400 German immigrants from former USSR countries. (I didn't want that job because I never thought that to be a good idea. So I "lost" it after 14 months .... and 4 more months later, the complete idea was 'dead' - as I told them - but people are still living there ... . )
I read one was built earlier, for non immigrant workers; I was clarifying that they all weren't built specifically for the reason to house the immigrant workers.
Why would I say I suppose self isolation happens?
Because I think it does happen to people and it may happen there. Many humans find comfort in a community where they are not taken by their neighbors to be foreign and threatening. I can only suppose that some feel less welcome, comforted, in some other spots in Paris.
I know they were settled there and that some communities were built for them.
I am not sure what you are getting at, Walter, that there isn't comfort in a community where many in the community have not felt particularly welcome outside it?
My husband and a few friends were raised in ghetto areas. He in particular, a man raised in a neighborhood that was at the heart of some famous urban disturbances, was, when I first met him decades ago, a very tense fellow in the fancier parts of Los Angeles - and because of his skin color, others couldn't guess his neighborhood; it was his anxiety from a sense of separation.
It's okay, osso, I was just confused a bit by "self isolation", got it now what you mean.
I'm not for ghettoes, if you are thinking I was saying that.
On jobs -
In Los Angeles, jobs were harder to get to (and arguably, to get) from south central LA, at the least due to transportation ills.
on education - a few articles have mentioned lack of education opportunity. The articles now blur in my mind. You are closer to know the real opportunities.
I think things are a little gray re education. Some - in or out of gettoized areas - value it highly, some residents may not. However any value it, it can be hard to study in some circumstances.
In my niece's public high school melieu, social life seemed most important among her cohorts at a school which had a good representation of gang members enrolled for a while.
I am interested in buildings and their social impact.
That reminds me of an article I read this week, maybe for the landuse thread, where someone was going on about actual positive impact (most planners and land/architects don't think design causes good or bad things to happen, no cause and effect as such). I am interested that while it might not cause behavior, it can facilitate various behaviors...
There is the famous - to us in the US - Pruitt-Igo housing in St. Louis that had to be blown up...
i recall being in chicago around 1980. mrs h and i drove in by car on a summer saturday. we were staying in the DRAKE hotel right by the lake for a conference . we thought chicago was just a beautiful place . on sunday we took the "culture bus" that stopped at various museums in the city. it was one of those long close-coupled buses. we had gone on for about 20 minutes when the bus stopped and the driver announced : "i'll be locking the doors now; anyone wanting to get out before the ....museum - can't remember which one - get off now because i won't be stopping before we get to the museum."
for the next 10 minutes or so we drove past the chicago public housing highrises; i belive they were dynamited some years later. i still recall the masses of people - mostly children and joung people - aimlessly drifting around, windows blown out, mountains of garbage ... i don't think i'll ever forget the picture.
i believe there are a multitude of reasons for these "societal" problems - lack of education, drugs, unemployment, alienation from society, gangs and crime, and so on. i don't know if these problems can ever be solved, but it would take more than just a few years of intensive work both within the community and with help from all levels of society.
the german magazine "der spiegel' had an article about the problems of the alienated "north-african" youth in france that very much reminded me what i saw in chicago at that time.
that night we attented a jazz concert by the lake.
there were a number of great chicago blues bands and it was a wonderful evening. there were people from all races peacefully sitting together, singing , clapping, swaying to the music - i just couldn't believe the contrast with what we had seen just a few hours earlier.
we were a little apprehensive about taking public transportatin back to the hotel, but were assured by many locals - black and white - that there was nothing to worry about. everybody there was in a good mood, so we took the bus back to the hotel - no problem (but i don't think i would have gone by bus from the projects). hbg