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Comparing the French & LA riots: Number of casualties, why?

 
 
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 05:46 pm
Re: Comparing the French & LA riots: Number of casualtie
nimh wrote:
Lifting out this post on one of the Paris riots threads as a separate question, because it is mostly a digression and I don't want to import the US political discussion into a thread about France; but it is a question that made me think, and I still don't really have a conclusive answer.

nimh wrote:
Random fact of the day:

Number of people who died in the 1992 LA riots:

52.

(That's the correction given in this Francosceptic story to the "200 people" cited by French finance minister Thierry Breton, who was urging for "perspective".)

Number of people who died in the France-wide riots so far:

1.

Anyone any suggestions on how to explain the difference?

The nature of the riots? Those involved? Gun control?


Interesting thread. It's interesting to make these comparisons and speculate. I suspect dlowan is right - it's to do with the different cultural attitude towards the private ownership and use of firearms. Major cities in the US, when they undergo riots, will always have greater fatal casualties than countries which have a stricter regime of firearms control. From memory the first targets of the looters in the 1992 LA riots were liquor stores and firearms stores. I remember the photo of a Korean-American liquor store owner outside his store protecting his property by firing a revolver (from memory) at looters. It would be useful to look at cause of death in the French and LA riots which are under comparison.

Police response. The LAPD and LASD are very well trained and extremely proficient police agencies. I'm not at all surprised that - combined - they would be able to crack down on the disorganised looters in LA. The police in France - I don't know much about except that they are highly centralised and divided between two government ministries. The CRS is primarily a public-order control unit and I don't know if it's (or should I say "they") are capable of controlling widespread and well-organised insurrection.

Those are some differences I have thought of. There is a qualitative difference between the LA riots and those in France. I suspect that the LA riots were spontaneous (for example would they had rioted had the police officers been convicted by the jury?) and were destined to burn out (sorry) after a few days of looting. But the riots in France were driven by different impulses and organised albeit in a decentralised fashion I suspect.

dlowan no-one was killed in the demonstrations in 1984 in the UK. Again, there were qualitative differences - these were demos and picketing actions and not riots and were much more purposeful than either the LA looting or the French attempted insurrection.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:46 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
fbaezer wrote:
But I'm certain the LA cops would beat the crap out of the Frenchies.
"Difference of police procedures", they call it.


French television showed images of two officers hitting and kicking a young man while six colleagues stood by watching in the northern Paris suburb of La Courneuve last week, on Monday.

One officer is being held in detention while four others are also under formal investigation.


About my bold: One sparrow does not make summer.
I stand by my assessment, and oddly agree with Fedral about the reason why French riots have lasted so long.
This does not mean I think American police is better: only less concerned about human rights and charges of brutality. As a citizen I feel better with the French police... but I don't own a business in the banlieu.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:16 pm
The French Muslim mood has been rather sour of late since the headscarf imbroglio. I did read of a major street protest of Muslims--and this "millet" arrangement that has been going on for years---don't you think that is a bad idea? A "country" within a country, so to speak?
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:23 pm
I would guess the nature of the riots would explain at least a part of it.

There wasn't much of a break in the LA Riots. It was 6 straight days of rioting 24 hours a day.

The riots in France have largely been 4 to 6 hours followed by 12-18 hour breaks.

The breaks give people who aren't rioting a timeframe to get out of the way and should also reduce the "frenzy" effect.
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:37 pm
i would say that looking at the overall crime rate(people killed on a per capita basis) in france and the united states gives a good explanation of the difference.

as an aside, i think when reports of protests in south-korea (as an example) are shown on TV, there seem to be some ferocious battles, but in the end very few - if any - people get seriously hurt. it looks to me more like "letting off steam" - or to put it differently, bothsides are not out to kill anyone, they simple want to protest. hbg
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:41 pm
I didn't realize--nimh said--an attempt to blow up...or burn?...a bus--and the torching of a disabled woman occurred. I don't know of any other seeming attempts to kill in the French riots.
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goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 03:18 am
fishin' wrote:
I would guess the nature of the riots would explain at least a part of it.

There wasn't much of a break in the LA Riots. It was 6 straight days of rioting 24 hours a day.

The riots in France have largely been 4 to 6 hours followed by 12-18 hour breaks.

The breaks give people who aren't rioting a timeframe to get out of the way and should also reduce the "frenzy" effect.


Good point fishin' - it sums up what I was trying to say. The LA riots were an explosion that may not have happened if the Simi Valley jury had brought in a guilty verdict. The "fuel" was outrage, but the outrage burned itself out after great intensity, as you have pointed out. Aside from some individuals stirring it up there wasn't much structure, much organisation. The French riots seem more of a slow burn and appear to have more structure.
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goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 03:23 am
hbg - I've heard it said (informal discussion, nothing authoritative) that in South Korea both the police and the demonstrators (students, workers) go through much symbolic action so while it looks ferocious they are virtually set pieces. A sort of controlled violent theatre of the street as it were. That's not to say that it doesn't get out of hand, it does and people get killed and badly injured. But there seems to be a common understanding, if antipathy, between the antagonists.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:04 am
All anyone seems to be concerned with are the rights and protection of the rioters. What about the rights and protections of the victims of the riots? Those whose property is being destroyed. Don't they have a right to expect protection from the authorities? IMO the rioters are criminals and should be treated as such.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:10 am
fbaezer wrote:
It's 'cause the French cops are wimps!
That's why!


I just love a manly man.

(Hi fb!)
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:13 am
fbaezer wrote:
We can make this exercise.
French rioters vs. LA rioters... who'd win?
French cops vs. LA cops... who'd win?

I'm not sure about the first answer.
But I'm certain the LA cops would beat the crap out of the Frenchies.
"Difference of police procedures", they call it.


"They call it the City of Angels. I didn't find it that, exactly" (opening narration, Big Leibowski)
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:17 am
blatham wrote:

I just love a manly man.

(Hi fb!)


And you look so dear in your Mountie uniform, bl!
<slaps himself>
<clears voice>
Yeah, blatham: those patrolling our streets should have big balls and big loaded guns.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:26 am
fbaezer wrote:
blatham wrote:

I just love a manly man.

(Hi fb!)


And you look so dear in your Mountie uniform, bl!
<slaps himself>
<clears voice>
Yeah, blatham: those patrolling our streets should have big balls and big loaded guns.


Well, up here in Canada, even the parking meter police look as if they have been chewing on Margaret Thatcher's dainties or Bush family placenta.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 01:03 pm
au1929 wrote:
IMO the rioters are criminals and should be treated as such.

Yeah I guess the only thing is whether that has to include "being killed" or not
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 01:17 pm
nimh wrote:
Or are the French rioters wimps?

I dunno... Steve just told me on the other thread that they were all not just Muslim, but organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir and singlemindedly out to establish a Caliphate in France, so ... you wouldnt think so ...


yeah I know you were shocked at what I said nimh

i didnt mean to blame the riots specifically on hizb ut tahrir

i just introduced that name as an example of extremist islamist thinking

what prompted me to say what i did was the "apparant" denial in much of the main stream media, that Islam played much if any part in the rioting

i think their sense of Muslim identity was and is central to the whole issue.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 01:23 pm
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:

i think their sense of Muslim identity was and is central to the whole issue.


So you think those with other faiths or atheists have be 'changed' to Muslims?
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 01:33 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:

i think their sense of Muslim identity was and is central to the whole issue.


So you think those with other faiths or atheists have be 'changed' to Muslims?


not sure if I follow your reasoning here Walter

I dont think non muslims have to be 'changed' to muslim.

What I think is necessary is an acceptance that there is a religious dimension to these riots which is very worrying. But I'm willing to change my mind. If they are spontaneously rioting across France the low countries and denmark for better housing job prospects and an end to discrimination fair enough. But my feeling, and I stress it is only a gut reaction, is that the riots in France are a direct political challenge to the state, a european intifada if you like. Thats what i find worrying.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 01:45 pm
I know that this is worrying you.

But as what said (here or a similar thread) e.g. car burning has a "long tradtion" in France (I've seen some in Strassbourg years back myself).

Same (=tradition) have the 1rst of May riots in Berlin.

Both had nothing to do with religion at all - although I admit that the French were (most presumely) in the majority Muslims and the Germans youth with non religious faith.

Depending on what media you listen to/read/watch and what your personal preferences are, the German riots are described either as of left wing chaotics, right wing neo-Nazis, anarchists ...
(Personally I think, those are all of them.)

Of course, this is a direct challenge to the state and its organs. But calling it "infada" - well, there are self-fulfilling prophecies ...
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 01:53 pm
well thanks for that walter

i admit to being "uptight" about things recently

as Ive just said elsewhere in response to blatham, I saw a moving programme about the london bombings last night.

I sincerly hope you are right and that the riots we have seen are nothing new

But if it were the case that (some) Muslims across Europe were answering a "call to arms" then I'm sure you would agree that we have seen nothing like it in our lifetimes..
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 01:57 pm
When we had (so real big) "chaos days" a few years years back here in Germany, similar was done by sms, emails, phone calls and 'underground papers'.

Some thought, this was just one (or one of variuos) kinds of (dangerous) youth subculture(s).

I would agree.

[Personal note to Steve: since you know where I'm sitting now: at least half a dozen books about that are behind me Laughing ]
0 Replies
 
 

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