France: far-right parties invoke ‘civil war’

Nahel

French police have¬†arrested¬†more than 3,000 protesters in unrest that has spread since¬†the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old delivery worker Nahel Merzouk, the son of immigrants from Algeria and Morocco, during a traffic stop in the¬†Paris suburb of Nanterre¬†June 27. The Ministry of the Interior has¬†mobilized some 45,000 police troops and gendarmes, as fierce¬†clashes with police have spread across the country. On July 2, rioters¬†rammed a burning car into the home of the mayor of Paris suburb L’Ha√Ņ-les-Roses. Merzouk’s grandmother later pleaded with protesters¬†to stop the violence. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued an appeal to French authorities,¬†writing: “This is a moment for the country to seriously address the deep issues of racism and discrimination in law enforcement‚Ķ Any allegations of disproportionate use of force must be swiftly investigated.” The officer who fired¬†the shot that killed Merzouk has¬†been taken into custody on charges of voluntary homicide. (Jurist)

The French far right is meanwhile baiting President Emmanuel Macron for what they portray as a weak response to the uprising.¬†Marine Le Pen of the Rassemblement National (formerly the Front National)¬†issued an inflammatory video statement warning of “anarchy” and¬†calling for a state of emergency to be declared if the riots do not subside.

Marion Mar√©chal, Le Pen’s niece and a former Front National parliamentarian now working with¬†anti-immigrant politician Eric Zemmour, has repeatedly invoked “civil war.” In one comment reported by Le Figaro, she said: “Every time the state backs down from these urban guerrillas, it’s one step closer to civil war.”

Mar√©chal added in a video statement released on Twitter: “[W]e are in a state of civil war. The security forces complain that they do not have enough ammunition to intervene. At this rate, French citizens will have to take on the task of protecting themselves. The French can no longer tolerate their businesses being looted, their cars being burned and their relatives being attacked.” (Turkiye)

France has seen repeated similar youth uprisings in recent years‚ÄĒin 2012, in 2007, in 2006 (twice), and most significantly in 2005.

Photo via Crimethinc

  1. Mother of youth fatally shot by French police holds protest‚Äč

    The mother of a teenage boy who was fatally shot by the French police held a protest on Nov. 19 over the release of the officer who killed her son. The officer was released from custody but remains under supervision as the case is further investigated.

    Nahel Merzouk was 17 when he was shot and killed in a traffic stop on June 27. The officer responsible for his death, who has been identified as “Florian M.,”¬†was jailed two days later while charges of voluntary homicide were investigated. The death of Nahel, whose parents are Algerian and Moroccan, sparked widespread unrest¬†across France. In the first seven days of consecutive protests, 3,000 people were arrested.

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