dimanche 13 novembre 2022

French Urban Violence - English Version


French Urban Violence

- English Version -

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

(Sorry if there are errors in the meaning, word or verb of the expressions). 

Up date: 30/06/2023

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Riots in Nanterre following the death of 17-year-old boy- 29/06/2023
  Violence in French cities is still a topical issue, as it was at the end of June 2023, in several french towns, following the death of a 17-year-old boy during Police intervention following a refusal to obey. Numerous public buildings such as town halls, municipal Police stations and shopping centers were set on fire.

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Assault by about 40 individuals with fireworks mortars
of the Police Station of Champigny sur Marne - 10/10/2020
 Attacks of this kind have become commonplace, as they have been recurring for many years, as here in Champigny sur Marne, on the nignt of October 10 to 11, 2020, by about forty hooded individuals, who attacked a police station in this city, with fireworks mortar...

Video of this attack

Cars set on fire near the police station of Champigny sur Marne in May 2018
This police station had already been the subject of three attacks since 2018.

Bobigny - February 11, 2017
For more than 40 years, urban violence has regularly come to the forefront. It should not be confused with violence in demonstrations.
To deal with this kind of phenomenon, a Rapid Support Force composed of French CRS will be created to deal with the most serious disturbances and urban violence. This is to respond to violent events in the spring of 2020, such as in Dijon with a confrontation between individuals from a neighborhood and Chechens or in Nanterre and Villeneuve la Garenne, after a motorcycle accident involving a police car.
Seven units will be set up, the first of which by the summer of 2021.
The first unit of this Rapid Support Force (FAR) will be composed of 200 French CRS members divided into two groups that will take turns from week to week. They will be mobilized in 15 minutes, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
Illustration image of a CRS truck created for a video game "GTA5
They will be trained and equipped with special means with a new anti-fire and anti-acid uniform, lighter helmet, small vehicles, as well as fast 4X4 that can cross barricades...

Thereafter, the seven trained units will be distributed in the seven defense zones in Metropolitan France.

Control by mobile gendarmes
Often located in so-called "sensitive" neighborhoods, they are triggered during police controls.

Bobigny - February 11, 2017
But what are their reasons?  Gratuitous acts of violence and vandalism or a cry of rage and anger from a youth feeling rejected by society?

The tense relationship between police officers and "youth" comes up every time: For the Police, it is to allow to hold the field, to show a presence, to advance investigations, to ensure public tranquility... 

For those controlled, it is repeated controls, stigmatizing, with insulting words, very often by white policemen.

Villiers le Bel - 25/11/2007
This relation degenerates following :
- a fatal accident between the police and runaways as in Villiers le Bel on 25/11/2007,

Aulnay sous Bois on 02/02/2017
- an arrest as in Aulnay sous Bois with "Theo" on 02/02/2017,

Trappes, on 18/07/2013
- an identity control as in Trappes of a veiled woman carried out in the presence of her husband on 18/07/2013,

Les Minguettes on 23/07/1981
- an arrest of suspects as in Minguettes on 23/07/1981,

Beaumont sur Oise, on 19/07/2016
- the death of a young adult as in Beaumont sur Oise with "Adama Traoré", on 19/07/2016

Clichy sous bois on 27/10/2005
  - death of teenagers as in Clichy sous bois with " Zyed " and " Bouna " on 27/10/2005

Nantes on 05/07/18
- or a man killed by a policeman during a police control in Nantes on 04/07/2018

les Minguettes - 1983

You can read below transcribed the radio program "Histoires d'info" by Thomas Snégaroff of February 13, 2017 on France Info on "How we were already talking about urban violence 35 years ago" :

The first major urban riots took place in July 1981 in Minguettes in Vénissieux, near Lyon. An opportunity to look at the media treatment of this type of news:
The media treatment of urban riots at the dawn of the 1980s was somewhat different. We are in July 1981. It was not the Paris suburbs that experienced the first major riots, but the suburbs of Lyon. In 1979, Vaulx-en-Velin had experienced serious scuffles, they were even more serious in Minguettes in Venissieux two years later.

Jacques Thévenin, presenter of the France Inter news program, on July 23, 1981: "The Minguettes neighborhood experienced a new night of violence. A real mini-riot pitted some 150 residents of the housing estate, mostly young North Africans, against police officers who had come to arrest three burglars. In Vénissieux, this is the last straw because this kind of incident has been multiplying for the last two weeks: fires, car thefts, stone-throwing, and the ransacking of stores. Racism is getting involved. The rate of North Africans is such that many inhabitants are leaving."

les Minguettes - 1983
And in the wake of this, TF1 went to Les Minguettes to understand what was going on in the city, a city that "invented" burned cars. The floor is first given to the neighborhood's old boules players. Unfiltered comments:
Reporter: "You live in the city, sir? What do you think of the young people here?"
Interviewee: "They're jerks..."
Reporter: "Why?"
Interviewee: "There are too many spics in the neighborhood. They steal everything. They're only there to loot the cellars. I'm telling you straight to your face. You can film. It's true."

Extract from a TF1 report

les Minguettes - 1981
Today, some people still think so, but we are more or less convinced that such remarks would no longer be broadcast on a major channel, except to make fun of those who make them, in the style of a program like "Quotidien" or "Le Petit Journal". At the time, this was not at all the case, these remarks did not particularly shock, in any case, they were not broadcast to shock.

TF1 also gave the floor to the young people in this report, and there, these are comments that we still hear widely today: "The young people break, okay, but what do they have for leisure here?  They have nothing. It should also be said that there is only a minority who break and they generalize here. We often tend to generalize here. I heard some of them say in the past: they throw bottles at us, they break our games, what they say is to finish us off. They don't want to understand young people. For them, they are all delinquents."

35 years later, the bowlers have left the sensitive neighborhoods, but the same disturbing observation remains: that of endemic violence and a dialogue of the deaf between the youth of these neighborhoods and the rest of French society.

End of the report of " Histoire d'info ".

What happened in the Minguettes in 1981 

Riots 2005
Why do we hear the same comments from the media and the same discourse from young people, 40 years later, and is it the same in other cities in Europe?

The city policies that follow one another will rehabilitate the neighborhoods, even beautify them, but without providing work for the young people of these cities... The term "suburb" will even become stigmatizing, having a connotation of second-class relegation...

Tremblay en France
We have to go back to the 60's and 70's to understand how large urban complexes in big French cities became a concentration of uneasiness, resentment and isolation of its inhabitants:

La Commanderie in Nogent sur Oise
A report entitled "Chronicle of Ordinary Violence" shot between 2003 and 2005 around the decomposition of a housing estate in Nogent sur Oise shows how this estate at the dawn of the 1960s, responded to a need for housing, contemporary with the economic and social boom of the thirty glorious years. 6 months of investigations, 2 years of filming and 4 films made.

Video on the beginning of this report

Video on the continuation and the history of this district
which looks like so many others...

Since then, the problems have followed one another. The journalists analyzed the reasons and consequences of these economic, social and republican crises. The mechanisms of violence and disintegration of the social bond are analyzed with finesse and without excessive judgment. France's urban development policy since the 1960s is also dissected and questioned.

Clichy sous Bois - 2005
The 2005 riots that inflamed many suburban neighborhoods in France for more than 3 weeks did not bring any global reflection. The anger is still present. This anger, linked to social violence, precariousness and the economic situation, has not allowed for the appeasement of these so-called "sensitive" neighborhoods. There is also a strong racist undertone from part of the population, as these neighborhoods are home to large Muslim populations. The French Version of Huffington Post article of March 16, 2015, entitled "Ten years after the 2005 riots, where has the anger of the suburbs gone ?" illustrates this reflection

Colomiers patrol in Haute Garonne
Similarly, the police officers assigned to these so-called "sensitive" neighborhoods often come out of police school, so young police officers and are assigned there, without a knowledge of the history of the neighborhood and its inhabitants. Or temporary reinforcements of French CRS following a previous case of difficult arrests or settlements of accounts... Their missions being to show a presence, to ensure the security of goods and persons, to advance investigations, and to ensure public tranquility...

One can discover, > by clicking here <, an analysis linked to the 2005 riots on "The rise of violence among young people and the phenomenon of urban violence in the suburbs", with a conclusion pointing out the feeling of social exclusion but also the role of media coverage in these violent incidents which are still relevant today.

In the same way, a 2011 study by the WHO (World Health Organization) presented indications on juvenile violence
Here are some excerpts:

"There are strong links between youth violence and other forms of violence. Violent youth frequently commit a range of offenses and manifest other social and psychological problems."

"Individual Factors" 
The major personality and behavioral factors that can be associated with youth violence are:

- hyperactivity - impulsivity - poor self-control - attention problems - history of aggressive behavior - low education. - Family and peer influence

"Social, political and cultural factors."
Gangs are a powerful force behind youth violence.
Weak social ties in the community are also associated with an increased incidence of youth violence.
The country's administration, its legislation and enforcement, and its social policy have a significant effect on violence.
Factors such as income inequality, rapidly changing demographics in youth populations, and urbanization have been linked to the development of youth violence.
Cultures that do not offer nonviolent solutions to resolve conflict appear to experience a higher incidence of youth violence."

A closer police force, always patrolling in the same area, with the same volunteer police officers, accompanied from time to time with social actors, knowing the history of the neighborhood and its inhabitants, with training on relational, Neuro-linguistic Processes, knowledge on juvenile violence, with reciprocal respect, and also with more ethnic representativeness can be solutions for a better relationship between police and youth of these neighborhoods.
Cars set on fire in an unconfined area of Yvelines in April 2020
However, we can also note an evolution in the behavior of some young people in sensitive neighborhoods: As Driss ATI-YOUSSEF, president of the Leonard de VINCI Institute, specialist in global security, explained in the TV program "C'est dans l'air" on France 5 on 12/10/2020: the state of mind of some people come to kill. It is necessary to understand that we have switched from a generation that ran away from the Police, today, we do not run away from it anymore, but we fight it.
Violence in Dijon between the Chechen community and young people from the housing estates in Dijon in June 2020
Today we have a generation of individuals who were born in the 90's, who arrive on the delinquency market and who are not de-socialized but completely unstructured, where violence is their daily language and they are in daily power relations.
Cars set on fire after a settlement of accounts
in the Malassis neighborhood in Seine St Denis in April 2018

Whether in prison or in the neighborhood, the balance of power is daily.The Police is only a tool of public power that comes to remind the rules of community life and respect for the laws.That, it does not please them ... When you have police officers who reclaim territory, it provokes a violent response from them. 

  Image of the hero of the series "NARCOS" on NETFLIX
And to the journalist's question: Where does this uninhibited violence come from, from what universe, what imaginary, what does it refer to? The specialist's answer is this: a certain number of individuals who have been dropping out of school for many years, where their daily life is video games, it's NETFLIX, when you watch on these streaming platforms, "El CHAPO", "NARCOS", all sorts of extremely violent series, where it's the violence of daily life, there is a form of mimicry. The settlements of account are more and more violent, one is not there any more to assassinate but to send a message to the rival bands...
Grigny 10/07/16
We can see that urban violence is more often in the "Police" zone
than in the "Gendarmerie" zone.

Indeed, the "Police" zones take care of big cities
as well as their large areas.

Gendarmes on a market in the city of Chateaubriand
The "Gendarmerie" zones are located in small and medium-sized towns, with local brigades (type of police station where the gendarmes' lodgings are with their families).
The French gendarmes of these brigades are more often in contact with the population and know the local juvenile delinquency. They also have so-called "sensitive" neighborhoods in medium-sized cities.

Beaumont sur Oise - 19/07/2016
With the death of Adama Traoré and the riots that followed, and yet in a "gendarmerie" zone, this situation has demonstrated that an intervention of a unit outside the local Brigade, in this case a PSIG (Peloton de Sécurité et d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie, a unit in charge of reinforcing on the ground the brigades especially at night and by the search for the Flagrant délit) can degenerate a situation that yet to the air under control.

Link to the 5 nights of insurrection
with policemen and gendarmes wounded by bullet
by clicking below :

Map of experimental zones selected for 2018 and 2019
An experiment is being conducted throughout France on a "Police of Everyday Security" (PSQ), since 2018, then in other municipalities in January 2019. The principle is to deploy a police force that is better anchored in the territories it is responsible for, by having a more detailed knowledge of the places and their population, and to allow police officers to be deployed in a specific sector and to be more present on a daily basis with social actors, shopkeepers, associations, etc.

Finally, another point on violence against the Police concerns the increasingly violent acts of aggression during demonstrations and pose a real reflection and actions to be taken as you can discover on the link below: 

  - English Version -

The Minister of the Interior, Gérard COLLOMB, in St Astier, on 08/06/18
The Minister of the Interior, Gérard COLLOMB outlined, on June 08, 2018, at the Gendarmerie's St Astier training center, the law enforcement doctrine to be adopted during upcoming interventions:
Developed on the basis of RETEX (Return of Experiences) of four major operations carried out in recent months (Bure, Notre Dame des Landes, Management of movements in universities in May 2018 and the demonstration of May 1, 2018), the doctrine evolves around a major axis:
The judicialization of troublemakers

Video of this visit of 08/06/2018

Three principles will be taken into account:
1- Better prepare and anticipate public order maneuvers

2- Guarantee the full and complete application of the law

3- Better explain and communicate
on the meaning of the action undertaken.

CSI and CRS facing Yellow Vests demonstrators e 24/11/18 on the Champs Elysées in Paris
However the riots which occurred, in margin of demonstrations known as "Yellow Vests" on 24/11/18 and 01/12/18 in Champs Elysées, or elsewhere in France, impose a new reflection on this type of extremely violent demonstrations:

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VBRG clearing a small barricade in Paris on 08/12/18
This followed changes in the modus operandi during the protests in France on Saturday, December 08, 2018, spreading over the entire territory more than 89,000 gendarmes and police. For information, 100 Gendarmerie Squadrons out of 109 and 55 Companies of CRS out of 60 were mobilized.

Mobile gendarmes in Bordeaux facing violent people on 08/12/18
A better adaptation of the manpower and dynamic movements were carried out to prevent the rioters from positioning themselves in defensive situation.

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This was reinforced in mid-September 2020, when the government presented a National Scheme for Maintaining Order. Out of this come changes in communication, evolution of tactics and modes of action, as well as the use of technological and material advances with human reinforcement.

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But elsewhere, how is this urban violence going ?


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