Violent protests in Paris suburbs reflect tensions under lockdown
But, coming five weeks into a lockdown that has exacerbated inequalities, the incident brought simmering tensions to a boiling point in France’s poor and densely populated suburbs.
Video footage from Villeneuve-la-Garenne this past week showed protesters aiming fireworks at police, who responded with tear gas. The violent demonstrations spread to other Parisian suburbs, including Hauts-de-Seine, where an elementary school was set on fire on Tuesday. Additional clashes with police, involving projectiles thrown at officers or the torching of trash cans and cars, were reported as far away as Toulouse in southern France and Lyon and Strasbourg in the east.
These protests have been small — nothing on the scale of the “yellow vest” demonstrations that rocked France for months in 2018 and 2019. But the violence stands out within Europe, where streets have been largely deserted and people have been largely accepting of the coronavirus-related restrictions imposed by their governments.
The riots in France have been first and foremost about heavy-handed policing — a preexisting controversy. But they are also …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]