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Possible Attacks Tonight In Paris
An email from my friend Sue in Paris:

Just to let you know we've heard the police expect a mass attack on central Paris, today or tonight. They've put 3000 police on the streets to keep the rioters out. Apparently the revolutionaries are organizing this in a viral way via sms (telephone text messages) and the internet. We heard the govt has shut down some internet traffic...

We are fine, have cancelled our plans to leave home - we'd planned to sort out our storage locker in the suburbs, and really needed to do it today! Our car is in an underground parking structure, so hopefully safe.We'll be staying at home, until further notice!

From an article in the IHT by Craig S. Smith and Hélène Fouquet:

While the urban unrest that has swept the country since Oct. 27 appeared to be abating in much of the country, it has persisted in the Paris region, raising concerns that the youths behind the violence may be regrouping for a renewed effort over the long weekend to raise the violence back to the level that drew international attention during the week.

Those concerns were strengthened by a number of recent postings on French Web sites calling for minority youths in the country's poor neighborhoods to attack the city. Several of the postings urged readers to rally Saturday night on the city's most famous avenue, the Champs-Élysées.

"We're seeing a decline in activity nationwide, with some resistance in the Paris region," Michel Gaudin, the head of France's national police, said at a news conference Friday.

The unrest, which began after the accidental deaths of two minority youths who were hiding from police officers, has touched nearly every urban center in the country and has alarmed the nation.

Politicians, intellectuals and celebrities have taken to the airwaves to debate the causes of the violence, which has mostly been in the form of arson attacks against vehicles. The sole death so far has been a 61-year-old man who was punched by a hooded youth in the Stains suburb north of Paris. He died from injuries suffered when he hit the ground.

Even if the level of violence dies down, it has started a nationwide debate.

The public focus on subjects ranging from police comportment to racial discrimination, unemployment and educational inequalities is certain to preoccupy the government as it searches for a way to address the problems that have alienated millions of young French-Arabs and French-Africans. Many of those people, born in France to immigrant parents, feel abandoned by society.

The police deployed 3,000 officers in the city Friday to watch for trouble on the third weekend since the unrest began.

The police authority has banned all public gatherings likely to provoke a disturbance in the capital from 10 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday. "Messages sent over the past few days via the Internet and text messages have called for gatherings and violent acts in Paris on November 12," a police statement said. "To enforce the ban, the police and gendarmes already deployed in the capital will be considerably reinforced, and reminded of their instructions to arrest troublemakers."

The statement said that people gathering in defiance of the ban could face up to two months in jail and a fine.

Many of the police on the streets of Paris on Friday were gathered around the Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower, where a peaceful demonstration had been called by an alliance of minority associations to protest the recent violence. The area was ringed with police vans and flooded by journalists, but no more than 300 protesters showed up.

Posted by aalkon at November 12, 2005 10:07 AM

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Comments

See, this is what happens when you don't have a television set and haven't accessed the internet or a newspaper in weeks. I had no idea this was happening.

WTF?

Posted by: Goddyss at November 12, 2005 11:31 AM

If you really want to fight this, shift your focus from blogging and dating to procreating. Don't have a man? Study the Luke Ford Relationship blog and learn how to get one.

Posted by: Charles Martel at November 12, 2005 12:22 PM

The mobs of angry youths in hooded sweatshirts and arab faces besieging Les Deux Magots and other shrines of the Americanization of Paris apparently didn't materialize.

That doesn't mean they won't tomorrow, or next week or next year. This situation is not going to go away.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at November 12, 2005 2:46 PM

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