Several Parisian suburbs inhabited mainly by immigrants experienced their fourth night of unrest after an incident involving a young motorcyclist and the police. The events intensified amid confinement by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus, coronavirus epidemic.
Since March 17, France has been implementing strict confinement measures, and while neighborhoods such as Villeneuve-la-Garenne, known for its history of social problems, remained relatively calm, the upheavals last weekend marked a change in the landscape.
According to RT, several vehicles were set on fire and police officers were attacked with fireworks over the weekend. Security forces’ concerns are increasing as overcrowded living conditions due to the coronavirus make life in the Parisian suburbs more difficult.
— Shark NewsWires (@SharkNewsWires) April 22, 2020
While some media outlets have called the escalation in violent episodes a response to the blockade, the riots started after a motorcyclist was injured by a police patrol on the night of Saturday, April 18.
In the same suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne, a 30-year-old motorcyclist was seriously injured when he crashed into a pole after evading the door of a police vehicle that was suddenly opened while waiting at a red light.
As Breitbart News pointed out, the motorcyclist was eventually taken to a nearby hospital with a broken thighbone and then successfully operated on, and now hopes to file legal action against the police.
Meanwhile, social unrest returned to the surrounding neighborhoods a day later, and on Sunday the riots ended up spreading to other Parisian suburbs like Saint-Denis, where multiple fires also broke out. In other areas such as Asnières, Nanterre, Meudon, Clamart and Gennevilliers, there were also clashes with the police.
Another incident involving civilians, which received significant media coverage so far this week, occurred in Strasbourg when a group of people tried to set fire to a police station by throwing Molotov cocktails.
The police later reported that the structure had not been seriously damaged. The riots have been taking place in 25 cities and towns (county seats) in France.
Regarding the stay-at-home ruling that has been prolonged in the European country until May 11, the French League for Human Rights strongly criticized the police throughout the country for the role they have played amid the pandemic, calling it “abusive.”
“In France, discriminatory and abusive police checks against people because of their physical appearance … are common and are rarely sanctioned. (…) We fear that these illegal practices will intensify in the coming weeks, and this in a climate of pre-existing impunity,” the organization added.