French mayors urge ‘mobilization’ against nightly riots

Lazy eyes listen


Following six nights of rioting over the police shooting of a 17-year-old French-Algerian, French mayors have called for a civic mobilization to protect the rule of law, while a survey shows strong public opposition to the rioters.

The national mayors’ organization invited locals to congregate at their local town halls at noon on Monday to voice their support for “a return to order in the republic.” Government buildings have been targeted “with extreme violence” this week, according to a statement issued on Sunday.

According to France 24, scores of individuals responded to the call in the commune of L’Hay-les-Roses, whose elected leader was specifically targeted. On Sunday night, a burning automobile slammed into the residence of Paris neighborhood mayor Vincent Jeanbrun. The official was not present at the time, but his wife and children were, and they managed to flee despite being injured.

The death of Nahel M. during a traffic stop has triggered a serious dilemma for President Emmanuel Macron, who has faced multiple waves of instability during his presidency. The Elysse Palace has stated that a nationwide state of emergency is being considered.

According to a research done by the pollster Ifop for the newspaper Le Figaro, 69% of French support such a policy. A similar proportion of responders had a negative attitude toward the rioters.

However, public opinion is divided on the police force’s behavior, which has been accused of racism following last Tuesday’s horrific incident. The pollster discovered that 43% and 14% of respondents trusted and sympathized with officers, respectively, while 32% viewed them with concern or hatred.

Over 40,000 individuals contributed to a crowdfunding campaign in support of the cop who fired the shot that sparked the uprising, raising more than €1 million euros ($1.09 million). According to media reports, the largest donation was €3,000 ($3,250).

The civic unrest in France follows months of rallies against a contentious pension reform. Since January, labor organizations have held protests and rallies to resist a rise in the retirement age that was adopted through a special procedure without a vote in parliament.