L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

08 November 2006 Blog Home : November 2006 : Permalink

Minor Regional News

The major French news is the SNCF strike, other news is about the socialist party TV debate. This is not the news that most foreigners concentrate on, namely the disturbances in the banlieues. In the reporting of the latter one thing that has received barely any coverage is that in Nice's Ariane suburb there has been a major argument between North African and Chechen residents which has resulted in shots being fired:

Police carried out a major operation yesterday afternoon in the Ariane area of Nice, arresting 15 people and seizing a number of weapons, after three days of tension between Chechen and African youths. The trouble began on Saturday night when four youths were attacked – since then there have been a series of revenge attacks. The raids came after a number of shots were fired yesterday near a pre-school in the Boulevard de l’Ariane.

What is never discussed is exactly what caused the disturbance in the first place. As far as I can tell this is an argument between criminal gangs that have formed on ethnic grounds. To the foreign observers, particularly those who claim that the disturbances are religiously motivated, this kind of interethnic gang clash is a bit of evidence that goes against their prefered narative but it seems to me that it is consistent with the explanation of the riots as being primarily criminal gangs protesting against police interference in their territories.

The banlieues are a mess and are the domain of gangs. It should be no real surprise that sometimes the gangs clash with each other. Nor should it be a surprise that the gangs sometimes claim religious beliefs to excuse their behaviour - I seem to recall the Mafia making similar claims once upon a time. And the fix - making the racaille either get jobs or starve - also ought to be obvious. Unfortunately as the SNCF strike hints, that isn't going to happen without a major revolution in French worker habits.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin