"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Paris on Riot Alert - Situation Normal (II)

The violence in Bagnolet, sparked by a criminal who was fleeing police killing himself in a motorbike crash, continued last night:
The suburbs of Paris were once again the scene of violence Monday evening following the death of 18-year-old Yakou Sanogo, who was killed Sunday in a motorbike accident as he was being pursued by a police car.

Several cars, a bus, and rubbish bins were set ablaze in the eastern suburb of Bagnolet, in what appeared to be a game of hide and seek between police and groups of local youth.

In the neighbourhood from which the victim hailed, police were targeted with projectiles at just before 11pm Paris time (GMT+2).

Officers say there were no serious injuries. Monday’s incidents were reportedly less severe than those on the night of the accident. “Tension is starting to go down again,” the mayor of Bagnolet, Marc Everbecq, told AFP.

An investigation is underway to determine whether the police have any responsibility in the accident. Some residents in Bagnolet accuse the police of having “pushed” Sanogo.

According to the official autopsy, Sanogo’s died of a “thoracic injury” sustained when he crashed into a metal barrier at a street that had been closed to entry.

The autopsy yielded no evidence of other injuries, which was presumed to rule out the theory that Sanogo had been hit by the police vehicle.
Now, whose fault is all of this?

The Mayor of Bagnolet, Marc Everbecq, has some thoughts for us:
I know that extreme right groups are rampant at this time. Their words are ugly. Those people who benefit from the difficulties that immigrants have to go home if they are not happy here, forget that France colonized the countries and that those bourgeois French made them come here to exploit them.

But this small fact racist fascists never talk about because they are on the side of exploitative employers. Their racism has therefore only one purpose: divide the exploited to improve the the grip of the exploiters. Racism is the poison that kills society. Thus, it is not only the immigrants who are challenged. Through them, also the French workers who are crushed to bend the spine and are less strong before the bosses. You see, go howl with the wolves fascists do nothing good. And we do not get caught by the legitimate frustration caused by these tensions.
Did you get that?

Racism and France's history are to blame for the problems she faces today, not the importing of millions of unassimilable immigrants.

In fact, even suggesting the latter is a huge part of the problem, and the legitimate frustrations you may have about your car being burned, your house stoned, your daughter harassed, you son beaten should not mould themselves into criticisms of multiculturalism or the French state.

It would be funny if such a dangerous man were not the mayor.

Robert Marchenoir, writing at Gates of Vienna, answers the usual media bias and provides background to this incident:
The first dispatches, such as the WSJ article, mentioned that the deceased motorcycle rider was a pizza delivery man.

This is disingenuous, because it suggests that a lawful, hardworking citizen was harassed by the police while minding his own business and helping the economy run.

Actually, he wasn’t delivering pizza at the time. He rode a trial motorcycle unlicensed for use on public roads. Furthermore, he was doing so in a noisy, disruptive, aggressive and dangerous way, as immigrant youths have taken to doing in city estates, for fun as well as to assert their dominance on public space.

Such antics generally include revving up the engine constantly in order to do as much noise as possible, riding on the back wheel, and riding very fast in residential areas. It’s called a “rodeo” in French.

Residents of “enriched” neighbourhoods are routinely submitted to that particular form of harassment. Beyond the annoyance and aggression, it’s definitely dangerous for pedestrians, children, old people and even other drivers.

In Bagnolet, on the day of the accident, this had been going on for quite a while when the residents complained, and the police came to the scene.

Usually the police do not bother to intervene when they receive such complaints, firstly because there are so many of them, and secondly because it’s very dangerous to try and stop those rogue riders.

They usually flee from the police, and, not infrequently, get killed in an ensuing accident. Then the police find themselves in a life-threatening situation while “elder brothers” congregate and a riot breaks out.
Coming next in the scenario, the immigrant community pretends that the “youth” has been killed by the police, the authorities chicken out and put the police version on the same level as the immigrants’, the policemen are submitted to a humiliating inquiry, and politicians, from the right and the left alike, call for an improved “dialogue” and more public funds being poured on city estates.

This incident was not different.

Knowledgeable bloggers researched the wrecked motorcycle from published media images, found out that it cost 6,000 euros, and asked how an 18-year-old was able to purchase one with the wages of a pizza delivery job.

Notice the cookie-cutter paragraph at the end of the WSJ dispatch:

“Tensions between young people and police have long simmered in housing projects in France’s suburbs, feeding on poverty, unemployment and anger over discrimination against minorities.”

This has been printed and said so many times that nobody bothers with a reality check any more. Surely it should be a matter for thought that in this particular incident, the aforementioned explanation is just a load of [insert expletive here].

“…feeding on poverty…”: nope. Not when you’re able to afford a €6,000 motorcycle (that’s $8,500) at age 18.

“…unemployment…”: nope. This one had a job delivering pizzas, as the mainstream media obligingly rushed to inform us.

“…and discrimination against minorities”: nope. Actually, it’s rather the opposite. Try riding a motorcycle in a city at 51 km/h if you’re a white, aboriginal French person. You’ll quickly get a hefty fine, and points will be nipped off your license. If you don’t pay, you might even land in prison.

1 comment:

WAKE UP said...

Coming soon to a town near/er you.