Sunday, November 06, 2005

Paris is bleeding


You have probably heard about the riots north of Paris (and other French cities). Last night, nearly 1,300 cars were set on fire, and for the fist time, violence reached the center of Paris (in the 17th and 3rd arrondissements). I don't care about whose responsibility it is (we probably all share it), but I feel so sorry for the innocent people who have been caught up in these acts of violence…losing their cars, their shops and sometimes their life (one man was beaten to death and a handicapped woman burned when she couldn’t get out of a burning bus). I do not know when and how this is going to end, but I hope it is soon.

Put this photo on a card, mug, t-shirt, bag and more here!

31 comments:

  1. Wow Eric, what a great combination of photo and news. This is getting scary here. One thing I did hear that might be a positive outcome of all of this, is that the government is starting to talk about equal opportunities and a form of affirmative action that might help integrate more society. I don't mean that from a political viewpoint, but a shift from the Grands Ecoles-Catholic-Male business approach. Any chance to have photos of the damage? Be careful though!

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  2. May peace be with you all. Stay safe Eric.

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  3. How sad, Eric. I have been watching, and I feel helpless and confused. I hope that something good can come from this.

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  4. A great image, that captures how we all feel about what has been going on in France for the past 10 days.

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  5. We, government and citizens, deserve what's happening, in a way...

    Anyway, great foto.

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  6. That really is with people like you Eric, that we may have, one day, a better future.

    God bless you Eric.

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  7. Eric: Fantastic shot and illustration, thank you. Et comme on dit ici, "take care."

    Michael: Affirmative action? Gosh, I don't know. It may have been a step in the right direction *at the time* in the US, but do you really think it'd solve the problem?

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  8. Would The Thought Of Thousands Of Other Web Site's All Displaying Your Content,

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  9. tomate - I agree that "affirmative action" sounds like too little, too late. What's really frightening about these actions is that it's difficult to imagine what might really ameliorate a situation that's so deeply established. Will the rioting burn itself out and fade into the background for awhile (but not go away), or will it escalate further? It's hard for me to imagine a third option.

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  10. I have spent 15 years of my life in the Paris East surburban city of Clichy-sous-bois where it all started. To me this was unfortunately quite predictable. There has never been any permanent and long lasting action from the local authorities towards teenagers'integration via education, employment (for them and their parents). I was lucky enough to live in the residential part of the town, my parents had a job, owned their house and I went to Paris university. When we got settled in Clichy-sous-bois back in the 70's, I remember what stroke me the most was that there was nothing made for young people, only for the elderly(not that I have anything against the elderly, but everyone needed to be taken care of). It can only be worst today (30 years later) especially for so many teenagers living in the "cité" with no future, no job, no nice environment, no feeling they are part of the country because French integration approach failed. I feel sad for the victims,ex-neighbors who still live there (and are safe), school teachers, young people and all the population. Et si tous les gars du monde se donnaient la main .....

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  11. im Greek,i live in Athens and watch all these terrible conflicts that take place there.I think that everything start from governments policies....in our world we live we have wealthy and poor people.Why wealthy people live better than poor?why policies always are against poor people such as minorities like the immigrants there?these people,they are human beings dont treat them like animals in a cage.All people in this planet must have equal rights,must be equal

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  12. This is an amazing photo Eric - bravo. It's the symbol of what's going on and very...impressionnant.

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  13. Stellabella: I think if you tried to do something like "affirmative action" in France, you'd have a civil war over there. Look how many people voted for LePen! That alone should tell you something.

    Of course, that's just my opinion... You could tell me that I don't really know what's going on in France and you'd be right, of course; my visits there are too scarce and too short to really know what's going on. However, I do not believe that certain things (like the attitudes towards North Africans) could have changed that much since I left France years ago. In fact, I *know* they haven't.

    (By the way, nice name, stellabella! )

    I also agree with Patricia who says "it was quite predictable." In fact, writers such as Christiane Rochefort
    already started drawing the picture and let us understand what might happen eventually in those "ghettos" they were building outside Paris back in the late 50's / early 60's, before the wave of immigration began .

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  14. Something I don't understand is the average "rioteur" is 16 years old. They are college boys. In fact when I was young We were very poor, but I worked at school. I lived where these young boys live today. And it was not easier for spanish, portuguese, polish, russian, italian, immigrants. Or is there a religious problem ? In this case, cause of our secularism, yes, it will be harder for them. Best Regards to all, Paris will win.

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  15. Lovely, lovely blog for a fascinating, beautiful city - my favorite city in the world. I'm so sorry about what is happening to your beloved city right now; the issues that the modern world faces are too, too complex to be addressed with violence and seeking immediate solutions. I wish the terrorists (for that is what they are!) would see sense and stop marauding their own homeland.

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  16. I don't know what is an "affirmative action" (can you explain ?). But it's sure that this kind of events was predictable. And, further, we can think that's only a beginning. It begins in the poorest parts of Paris surburb but a lot of people can see their situation going down and down, even in richer parts of Paris and surburb (and other parts of France too...). Life is everyday harder for a lot of us. Then, I think it's not ending. It's just a beginning...

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  17. we hear news abt the riots spread in france everyday in hong kong, i hope the nightmare will end asap... my best wishes...

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  18. Isido: Start with this link (in English, sorry). It'll give you a good idea.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action

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  19. wow, what a great posting.

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  20. Ce que j 'espère juste, c'est que ces vandales et ces voyous restent bien à l'extérieur de Paris. Tant que tout cela reste localisé dans ces banlieues pourries, cela m'est bien égal.
    J'ai choisi d'habiter le 6ème arrondissement pour avoir la paix et m'isoler de ces populations banlieusardes immigrées et sans le sou, il ne manquerait plus que ces jeunes délinquants viennent jusqu'ici ! Est-ce que je vais les embêter chez eux ? J 'ai vu qu'il y avait eu des problèmes jusque dansle 3ème arrondissement, et cela m'a vraiment effrayé. Encore, des problèmes en banlieue, je dirais que c'est presque normal, c'est le quotidien de ces gens depuis un certain temps déjà, non ? Ils savaient à quoi s'attendre en choisissant d'habiter ce genre de quartier.

    Mais si même Paris est maintenant touché, je me demande où nous sommes en sécurité franchement.

    Fabrice

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  21. Harsh comment, Fabrice. Vous etes sur qu'ils ont vraiment eu le choix?

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  22. Regarding affirmative action, all I meant was that with all of its faults, it does force companies to integrate different people into the workforce. In France, it is well known that the classes don't often mix IN the workplace, even if outside they are more welcoming. I by no means think that quotas etc would be appropriate.

    Companies and large organisations often are the initiators of change...not governments.

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  23. Hello Michael (long time no see…), je pense justement que le retrait de l'Etat de ces zones, selon un modèle qui n'est pas le nôtre aura été un facteur particulièrement aggravant d'une situation qui n'en demandait pas tant. Oui, c'est à chacun de changer ses comportements, y compris aux entreprises et aux citoyens mais on ne peut pas vraiment demander aux hommes de renoncer par eux-mêmes à la défense de leur propres intérêts par pure sens civique. Malheureusement. Et effectivement, il me paraît bien naturel qu'une personne habitant le 6e arrondissement (sic) ne tienne pas particulièrement à aller s'installer à Clichy sous Bois, que des parents choisissent de mettre leurs enfant dans des écoles privées pour leur donner de meilleures chances, etc. Quand le modèle ambiant dominant pousse à la compétition et au chacun pour soi, la solidarité et le sens civique semblent des concepts "désuets". Mais bon, finalement, peut-être nous pourrions nous nous rejoindre là-dessus : tu as raison, si l'on considère que les gouvernements sont suiveurs plutôt qu'initiateurs, peut-être de "large organisations" peuvent-elles les pousser un peu à initier le changement. Espérons que du mal actuel, justement, des changements sortiront et que cette fois-ci, une fois de plus, le couvercle de la dénégation et du rejet ne retombera pas lourdement sur les banlieues une fois la crise passée…

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  24. Merci Tomate. Donc, c'est la fameuse "discrimination positive", l'Affirmative action (ça sonne mieux en anglais...).
    Mais dans les deux langues, ça me semble être une connerie. L'Etat est là pour assurer un socle identique à tous (Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, pour résumer), charge à chacun de se débrouiller ensuite pour son propre sort. Problème, entre une ZEP et le 6è arrondissement de Paris, les structures sont pas tout à fait les mêmes : hopitaux, écoles, etc. Mais bon, y'aurait encore à dire... Et c'est pas ici qu'on va changer la face des choses;...

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  25. That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

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