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Let’s Talk About France: A story of mitigation

Let’s Talk About France: A story of mitigation

Who was Nahel Merzouk?

Algerian immigration to France: then and now

  • The October–November 2005 uprising, involving youths in violent attacks burning cars and public buildings. The trigger was the accidental death by electrocution of two boys—Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré—fleeing police attempting an identity check. Interviewed by Associated Press, protesters declared that the unrest was an expression of frustration with high unemployment, police harassment and brutality. “People are joining together to say we've had enough,” said one protester. “We live in ghettos. Everyone lives in fear.”
  • The 2007 riots ignited in the Val-d’Oise département (another Paris suburb inhabited by a mostly migrant population) following the deaths of two teenagers (Moushin S., 15, and Larami S., 16), whose motorcycle collided with a police vehicle. Both victims and most rioters were of North African descent. Cars and buildings were burned, including a library, two schools, a police station, and several shops.
  • In 2009, a series of riots took place on Bastille Day in the commune of Montreuil, an eastern suburb of Paris, following the death of a young Algerian man, Mohamed Benmouna, in police custody. French youths set fire to 317 cars and thirteen police officers were injured.
  • In July 2013, riots broke out in Trappes, a Parisian suburb, after the police arrested a man who assaulted a police officer who had tried to check the identity of his wife wearing a Muslim veil.
  • In July 2014, a pro-Palestinian protest against the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza degenerated into an anti-Semitic riot in Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris. Jewish-owned and non-Jewish-owned businesses were attacked and looted by local youths armed with metal bars and wooden clubs.
  • In 2017, protests started, following accusations of a police officer having sodomised a young black man with a baton. Anti-police protests continued well into March 2017, when migrants were met with resistance from Parisians.

EU intercession: divine intervention or reckless interference?

The big question: Is France a fundamentally racist and unequal society?

Integration is key: but what does that mean in France and Europe today?


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