Re: Comparing the French & LA riots: Number of casualtie
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.
Random fact of the day:
Number of people who died in the 1992 LA riots:
(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:
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.