Wednesday 29th of May 2024

France riots ease as mayors hold anti-violence rally

Daily Bangladesh Tribune »

Riots in France appear to be calming, after five days of violent protests in response to the shooting of teenager Nahel M during a police traffic stop.

More than 150 people were arrested on Sunday night, compared with more than 700 the night before.

Over the last few days, there have been numerous calls for the violence to stop, including from Nahel’s family.

Mayors have called for people to rally outside town halls on Monday to protest the violence and looting.

In Nanterre, Nahel’s hometown, mayor Patrick Jarry said he was pleased the violence had subsided, but added that “we shouldn’t lose sight of the incident that sparked this situation and the continuing need for justice”.

The mayor of Reims told a crowd of several hundred people that the rioters had “looted the businesses that they visit every day” and urged the state to be “firm, so that the Republic can be preserved”.

In a press release shared on Sunday, an association of the country’s mayors noted that “communes everywhere in France are the scene of serious unrest, which targets republican symbols with extreme violence”.

“We refuse to let our country succumb to chaos… Unfortunately, this situation does not come as a surprise, and for years France’s mayors have been sounding alarm bells over the degradation in our society,” the press release reads.

It also makes a reference to the attack on a suburban Paris mayor’s home at the weekend, in which rioters fired rockets at the official’s fleeing wife and children. The incident is being treated as attempted murder.

Rioters have damaged and attempted to set fire to several town halls across France since the start of the unrest.

However, Sunday night saw a marked decrease in the number of incidents recorded compared with last week.

Last night, 297 cars were set on fire compared with Thursday’s 1,900, while 34 buildings were damaged or set ablaze compared with more than 500 on Thursday.

On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron will meet the mayors of 220 municipal areas that have been affected by the violence.

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