The Dartmouth Observer

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Monday, November 07, 2005
Law and Order?

"To err is human; to really screw it up you need France." I think someone famous said that once. I could be wrong.

Rioting spreads throughout France is somewhat neglected news story. CBC has the details.
French President Jacques Chirac struck a more conciliatory note Monday as rioting by French youths spread to almost 300 towns and police reported that the violence had claimed its first fatality - a 61-year-old man beaten to death while trying to put out a trash fire.

As urban unrest spread to neighbouring Belgium and Germany, the French government faced growing criticism for its inability to stop the violence, despite massive police deployment and continued calls for calm. One riot-hit town in suburban Paris said it was preparing to enforce a curfew.

On Sunday night, vandals burned more than 1,400 vehicles, and clashes around the country left 36 police injured, setting a new high for overnight arson and violence since rioting started last month, national Police Chief Michel Gaudin said at a news conference.

The unrest began Oct. 27 in the low-income Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois after the deaths of two teenagers of Mauritanian and Tunisian origin. The youths were accidentally electrocuted as they hid from police in a power substation. They apparently thought they were being chased.

About 4,700 cars have been burned in France since the rioting began and 1,200 suspects were detained at least temporarily, Gaudin said.

And just so that you are aware, President Jacques Chirac was re-elected to a seven year term in 2002 on a platform of "law and order." Anyone else convinced?