The French government views violent protests as a law and order problem.
Unrest and violence in France after the death of a teenager by police shooting is increasing. Till now more than 650 people have been arrested, but the situation remains the same. It was difficult to predict that there would be such a violent reaction to the tension generated after the death of a 17-year-old teenager in the French capital, Paris. Despite the deployment of 40,000 policemen, incidents of looting and arson continue. The effects of events in Paris extend to Brussels.
The situation is so bad that President Emmanuel Macron left the ongoing meeting of European leaders in Brussels and returned home. People take to the street in protest after the death of Nahel M in Nantes. The police officer who shot Nahel has been charged with first degree murder. The case has sparked protests over the police’s right to shoot and racial discrimination in France.
Nahel’s death refreshed the death of George Floyd in the US in 2020. Floyd was not shot, but the police officer pinned him to the ground and applied such pressure to his neck that Floyd died. It was a racially motivated murder. It was opposed in the whole world including America. Even in the case of Nahel’s death, racial allegations are being leveled against the police.
Nahel’s mother Monia has clearly stated that the reason behind her son’s death is racism. Nahel’s mother says that the police officer had the option of not firing if he wanted to, but he did not. She says, he didn’t need to kill my son. He saw an Arab face and wanted to kill him. How long will this last?
The French government views violent protests as a law and order problem. Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne said violent youths damaged police stations and town halls, but they were not local residents. Our priority is to ensure national unity and for this the only way is to bring the system back on track, Borne said.
Not too long ago, France was rocked by violence triggered by a street incident in April. Police stopped a young man riding a motorcycle in the incident that took place in the city of Villenave La Gahne. While trying to get out while increasing the speed, the motorcyclist hit the police car, but his own leg was also broken. The young man was a Muslim and people rallied in his support. After this a riot-like atmosphere was created which continued for five days.
The repeated violent backlash is just a glimpse into what France’s divided society is. After these latest incidents, the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva has also said that it is a critical time for France to solve its racial issues. People’s anger in France against the state surrounded by allegations of racial discrimination is also a symbol of the fact that the country is not just divided between rich and poor. France is at a stage in its national journey where it can move forward only with a multicultural identity. For this both sensitivity and law will be required.
no assimilation initiative
West African countries such as Algeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Senegal were former French colonies. Many immigrants from these countries arrived in France in the twentieth century. Since 2014, there has been an increase in the number of immigrants from these countries, but there is no initiative in the French society to assimilate this change at the level of law. Even in the census, religion and caste are not recognized.