By Richard Abelson
89% of Frenchmen condemn the violence committed against security forces, leaving left-wing riot apologists in the tiny minority. A man was killed by a flash-bang grenade in Marseille. The GoFundMe for the police officer involved in the deadly shooting of Nahel M. reached €1.6 M. The Macron government proposed cracking down on free speech instead of the rioters.
The situation in France calmed Tuesday night, on the 8th night of unrest since the officer-involved death of 17-year-old driver Nahel, with only 16 arrests, including 7 in the Paris region. There were 116 fires on public roads, 78 vehicles burned and 8 buildings set on fire. 1,243 people have been indicted since June 30. Bus and tram service was restored, which had been suspended since Friday. Police arrested three men with 300 kilos of fireworks in Paris.
There have been 1,000 buildings burnt, 5,600 vehicles destroyed, and 3,300 arrests since last week in France.
According to a survey for BFMTV on Tuesday, July 4, 89% of respondents condemn the violence perpetrated against the police. Only 20% voiced understanding for the violence. 66% blamed parental negligence, 55% blamed lax law enforcement and 43% blamed drug trafficking in some cities. French confidence in the police remains high (71%), while 76% criticized the government’s handling of the violence. 50 % saw right-wing leader Marine Le Pen strengthened by the riots, 31% said she would have handled the riots better.
A 27-year-old man named Mohamed was killed by a flashbang grenade in Marseille Saturday night, July 1, where videos seemed to show armored cars driving down the street and firing at rioters. His widow claimed Mohamed was not a rioter, but was merely “taking pictures”.
The GoFundMe started by right-wing pundit Jean Messiha to support the officer accused of “voluntary manslaughter” in the death of 17-year-old Nahel was closed after raising €1.6 M. Nahel’s mother filed charges against Messiha, accusing him of seeking to “criminalize (the teenager) and create a movement to support the police officer who shot Nahel.” Messiha filed counter-suit for defamation. A GoFundMe for Nahel’s family only raised €400,000.
Marine Le Pen: ‘While our country has just been delivered to the looting and looting, I would like to ask you the question that all French people ask themselves: what have you done with France?’ #FranceRiots #FranceHasFallen #FranceOnFire pic.twitter.com/89VuKHrpQQ
— Paul Golding (@GoldingBF) July 4, 2023
Nahel’s absentee father, Hicham H., also wants to sue for damages even though having played no part in his delinquent son’s life. “I am a civil party for justice to be done for Nahel and to say that I am alive,” said the 42-year-old delivery driver from Colombes, near Nanterre. “I made choices in my life that made me unable to attend his birth, I did not see his first steps, his first words,” Hicham said, who hopes to make a buck off his son’s death anyway.
— Paul Golding (@GoldingBF) July 5, 2023
Economics Minister Bruno Le Maire called for “consequences for parents” of young criminals. Jordan Bardella, leader of the right-wing RN party, called for a principle of ” you break it, you pay for it, and if you can’t pay, it’s your parents who pay.” Bardella called for welfare to be suspended for “parents of minor repeat offenders” and an end to generous subsidies for problem areas, which he called “a bottomless pit”. “We gave these neighborhoods everything to,” Bardella said, calling the problem “cultural, sometimes religious” rather than economic. Bardella called for the expulsion of foreign rioters, and for a “reset” of immigration policy.
Repiblican Senate speaker Bruno Retailleau was accused of “racism” after saying the rioters may be French “by their identity” but “unfortunately, in the second and third generations of migrants, there is a kind of regression towards ethnic origins.” Communist MP Elsa Faucillon called Retailleau’s words “racist par excellence. The right slides a little more every day,” she said on Twitter.