France’s No-Go Zones: The Riots Return

While France’s general population remains under strict lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and police have been ordered to enforce the rules ruthlessly, people living in no-go zones are treated differently. Police officers have been told by the government not to stop them at all and to avoid going near where they live. Pictured: A garbage dumpster burns in the street during a riot in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, in the northern suburbs of Paris, on April 21, 2020. (Photo by Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP via Getty Images)

by Guy Millière, GATESTONE INSTITUTE  •  May 10, 2020

  • A few months ago, a police officer, Noam Anouar, who infiltrated Islamist circles… stated that no-go zones in France are now foreign enclaves on French territory. “The gangs operating there,” he wrote, “have formed a parallel economy based on drug trafficking. They consider themselves at war with France and with Western civilization. They act in cooperation with Islamist organizations, and define acts of predation and rampage as raids against infidels”. He noted that reclaiming these areas today would be complicated, costly, and involve calling in the army.
  • For years, successive French governments have chosen a policy of “willful blindness”: they simply behave as if they do not see what is going on. They do not even try to find solutions.

Saturday, April 18, 11 pm. Villeneuve-la-Garenne, a small town in the northern suburbs of Paris. A young man rides a motorcycle at high speed and hits the door of a police car. He breaks his leg. He is sent to the hospital. He does not have a driver’s license but does have a long criminal history. He was sentenced several times by the courts for drug trafficking, robbery with violence and sexual assault.

As soon as news of the accident is released, hostile messages about the police circulate on social media; and in a dozen cities in France, riots break out. The riots are continue for five days in a row. A police station in Strasbourg is attacked and set on fire. A school is nearly destroyed a few miles from Villeneuve-la-Garenne.

Rather than responding with firm language, the French government is saying that an investigation into the behavior of the police has been opened and that the officers will most likely be punished.

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May 11, 2020 | Comments »

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