French riots

France: One Year After the Riots

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In the autumn of 2005 the suburbs of Paris burned with anger at racism and poverty. Soon that rage spread across France and led to the most prolonged rioting the country had ever seen. Jim Wolfreys returned to Paris to find out if anything has changed.

On Saturday 28 October around 1,000 people gathered in Clichy-sous-Bois, an impoverished north eastern suburb (banlieue) of Paris. They met to remember the two teenagers, Bouna Traoré and Zyed Benna, who were electrocuted last year as they hid from police after being chased as they made their way home from playing football. Their deaths, and the police's refusal to apologise, set in motion the most sustained period of rioting ever seen in France.

France: Roots of a Revolt

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Peter Fysh argues the French riots had both political and economic causes.

The recent urban unrest in France has exposed the way in which social and economic marginalisation is overlaid by both an ethnic and a geopolitical dimension. Unemployed immigrant-origin youths have been engaged in an unwinnable but constantly reigniting war with the police since at least the early 1980s. After 11 September 2001 their situation worsened as the state colluded with employers in flushing Muslim workers out of their jobs at key employment centres like Charles de Gaulle airport in the Paris suburb of Roissy.

Stubborn belief

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