France will elect a new president in May 2017. Politicians are already campaigning and debating about deficits, welfare recipients, GDP growth, and so on, but they look like puppets disconnected from the real country.
What is reality in France today?
Violence. It is spreading. Not just terrorist attacks; pure gang violence. It instills a growing feeling of insecurity in hospitals, at schools, in the streets — even in the police. The media does not dare to say that this violence is coming mainly from Muslim gangs — “youths,” as they call the in the French media, to avoid naming who they are. A climate of civil war, however, is spreading visibly in the police, schools, hospitals and politics.
The most jolting evidence of this malaise was to see more than 500 French police officers demonstrating with police cars and motorcycles on the night of October 17, without the backing of labor unions, without authorization, on the Champs Elysées in Paris. According to the daily, Le Figaro, “the Interior Ministry was in panic,” frightened by a possible coup: “Police blocked access to the Avenue Marigny, which runs beside the Presidential Palace and overlooks the Place Beauvau.”
On October 18, when Jean-Marc Falcone, director-general of National Police, met the leaders of the protest, he was surrounded by hundreds of police officers urging him to resign.
The main cause of their anger seems primarily the violence often directed against police, and terrorist attacks. On the terrorist level, two policemen were stabbed to death in Magnanville in June 2016 by a Muslim extremist, Larossi Aballa. This spring, more than 300 police officers and gendarmes were injured by demonstrators. In May, police unions demonstrated in the streets of Paris to protest “anti-police hatred.”
This autumn, the last straw was an attack on a police patrol in the Paris suburb of Viry-Châtillon. Four officers were injured when a group of around 15 “youths” (Muslim gang-members) swarmed their cars in the town and hurled rocks and firebombs at them. Two policemen were badly burned; one had to be placed in an induced coma. The same scenario took place a few days later: a police patrol was ambushed in another no-go zone in the “sensitive” area of Val-Fourré.
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