Tag Archives: Paris

Violence Flares In Paris’ Northern Suburbs Over Lockdown

For three nights violence has flared up between youths and police in the northern suburbs of Paris. The violence has been caused by the growing tensions in the strict lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.  An “explosive cocktail” of poverty, harsh police tactics, unemployment,  the health crisis has worsening has led to the violence.

The neighbourhood has seen much violence in recent years. The area has a high African and North African population. Young black men are more likely to be stopped and searched by police, resulting a culture of animosity and distrust.

“When there are people out in the streets, police abuses are less likely to go unnoticed,” a local social worker explains. “But with residents locked up at home, the police have become more violent and arbitrary.”

He adds: “Of course, most officers do their work conscientiously. But it only takes a few bad apples eager to settle scores for things to get out of hand very fast.”

The poorer suburbs of Paris have been hit particularly hard by Covid-19. As health care provision is poorer in these areas.  Residents are angry as it is workers from these working class areas who have kept the city functioning. Many wealthy Parisians have fled the city, or are working from home.

“Nurses, cashiers, caregivers, street cleaners, security agents, delivery men… Basically all the people who prop up the country today, all those who hold the front line and put themselves in danger, they come from the working-class districts, from [Seine-Saint-Denis]!” said Stéphane Peu, a local communist lawmaker, in an interview with Le Monde.

Read More: France 24

Paris and London Declare “Climate Emergency”

Paris has followed London and hundreds of other cities globally declaring a “climate emergency”. On June 26th New York was the largest city to make such a declaration.

The move is largely symbolic. But the socialist mayor of Paris has already passed a number of laws to show her green credentials. These  include significantly reducing traffic in the city, and implementing traffic bans at peak pollution times.

The new “climate emergency” declaration will see a Climate Academy set up to educate the public on environmental issues; and a team of scientists who will be called upon to  advice on any legislation to be passed that will have an environmental impact.

Paris hosted the 2015 historic signing of the agreement to globally tackle climate change.

Read More: France 24


Twelve people were executed and eleven injured today after gunmen targeted staff by name at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, in the heart of Paris, France.  The editor, journalists, and four well known cartoonists and two police offices were murdered by gunman using assault rifles shouting “Allahu Akbar,” an Islamic phrase meaning “God is greater”.  The three gunmen are still at large – they escaped by car which has since been found abandoned, though someone has been arrested in Reims, north-east of Paris.

Other cities in France – Nantes, Tours and Dijon – have seen attacks on a smaller scale by lone individuals in the past 4 weeks and France has been on a state of alert over the Christmas period as a result.

The French Republic has been confrontational in dealing with violent Islamist groups in their territories worldwide, and tolerates no religious extremism from any group, recently banning the wearing of the burqa veil in public for Muslim women.

Human values and freedom of the press are at the heart of the issue for many, as hundreds gather in Paris and London, mourning and protesting at the horror of the attack. The controversial magazine has often mocked politicians and religions. The Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed in 2011 and its website was hacked, after the cover featured the prophet Muhammad. In 2012 the magazine again published crude Muhammad caricatures, drawing condemnation from around the Muslim world.

The cover of this week’s issue of the newspaper focuses on a new book by Michel Houellebecq, “Submission,” published today, which depicts France led by an Islamic party by 2022 that bans women from the workplace.

Paris, and many cities in France and the UK are on high alert, as concern that shopping centres, media and newspaper offices, and religious organisations may be soft targets for extremists.

How do we stop this happening in our cities?



One of Hollande’s campaign pledges, it has proved hugely divisive in a country that is officially secular but predominantly Catholic.

“Hollande, your mother isn’t called Robert”, shouted some of the demonstrators in a slogan that gained in popularity as the afternoon progressed.

PARIS – At least 150,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Paris to protest a new law allowing gay marriage, a largely peaceful gathering that later turned violent as riot police battled hundreds of right-wingers.

Police said they had made a total of 293 arrests and that six people were injured in the course of Sunday’s demonstration: four police officers, an AFP photographer and a protester.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, in a statement, blamed the “extreme right” for the violence.

“These incidents were provoked by several hundred individuals, most from the extreme right and the (nationalist) Identity Bloc, who violently attacked police,” he added.

The rally came as the jury at the Cannes film festival in southern France on Sunday awarded its Palme d’Or top prize to the sexually graphic lesbian love story “Blue is the Warmest Colour” by French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche.

As the protestors dispersed, after a largely peaceful march, police said up to 500 people began attacking them by throwing metal barriers, smoke flares and beer bottles.

The youths shouted slogans against the government such as “Socialist dictatorship” and also threw objects at journalists covering the event.

Fears of unrest at Sunday’s protest had been fuelled by violence that erupted earlier this month during celebrations marking football club Paris Saint-Germain’s league victory, which saw tourists attacked and shop and car windows smashed.

But those in the protest ignored the recent tensions, bringing their children along as others had in previous demonstrations.
“We keep hearing about a far-right movement, I can see only families here,” said one man called Raoul, who came from the city of Dijon.

In Brazil, tens of thousands of evangelical Christians marched in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday protesting a recent legal ruling allowing gay marriage.

Another potential flashpoint will be in the southern town of Montpellier on Wednesday when the country’s first gay wedding is due to take place.



A historian has shot himself in the head at the altar inside Notre Dame Cathedral, in central Paris. 78 year old Dominique Venner is known for his right wing publications and essays. Venner placed a letter on the altar before taking his own life. At the time he shot himself the cathedral was full of around 1500 visitors.

The historian had earlier written on his website about the French government’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage and called for “spectacular action”. He called the laws “vile” and added, “There will certainly need to be new, spectacular, symbolic gestures to shake off the sleepiness… and re-awaken the memories of our origins.

“We are reaching a time when words must be backed up with acts.”

The French government formally legalised gay marriage at the weekend, amidst protests from the Catholic church and social conservatives.

The impact of such a dramatic suicide will not be lost on the French people. Notre Dame Cathedral is a powerful symbol in France, and Interior Minister Manuel Valls said “We are fully aware of the repercussions of such an act.”

This is the second dramatic suicide in Paris within a week. A 50 year old man also committed suicide in Paris, near the Eiffel Tower. This suicide occurred inside a primary school in front of a class of traumatised children.

Read More: Sky News


The French parliament have voted today to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill was passed 331-225, and it is thought weddings could begin as early as June.

The vote was almost a foregone conclusion given that parliament has a Socialist majority, who along with their allies the Green party, had been pushing for the bill. President Hollande made same-sex marriage a key manifesto promise in last year’s election.

However, the nation is deeply divided over the bill,  with mass rallies in Paris over the last few weeks. The protests are expected to continue, as they seek to convince President Hollande not to sign the bill into law, or to remove the part of it, which currently will see gay couples given the right to adopt.

The leader of the right leaning party UMP has promised another large scale demonstration in Paris on May 26th, with UMP leader Jean-François Copé wanting to send a “message of very strong disapproval to the government.”

This morning, before the vote it was reported that, Claude Bartolone, president of the lower house, received a package containing gunpowder and a note saying, “Citizen Bartolone, with this letter we formally ask you to delay the vote on same-sex marriage…Our methods are more radical and direct than demonstrations. You wanted war, you’ve got it.” The message was sent by the group calling themselves Interaction of the Forces of Order.

Read More The Telegraph


Tens of thousands are expected to take to the street of Paris today to protest against the government’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage and gay adoption.

The parliament are expected to pass the bill on Tuesday. The bill was one of President Hollande’s key manifesto promises.

This latest protest is expected to see between 30,000 to 50,000 protesters converge on the streets of Paris; a similar rally in March saw around 300,000 people attend.

Protesters are angered by the way the government has pushed the bill through parliament, using a fast track procedure, which means the bill has only received 25 hours of debate.

Another protest is planned for May 26th, to demand the bill be withdrawn and a referendum called on same-sex marriage.

Read More: France 24


A French woman has been arrested after her three children were found with their throats slit at their home near Paris Friday.

Sky News reports that two of the kids—a  9-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son—died of multiple stab wounds. Their 17-year-old brother was still alive when emergency services arrived, but later died of his wounds.

Their father, a doctor, discovered the scene after returning home in the morning from work, according to judicial sources and police. He was reportedly in a state of shock.

“The children had their throats slit but we are still awaiting forensic reports,” authorities told Sky.

Police launched a hunt for the mother after the bodies were found, eventually apprehending her and holding her in Paris.  The family lived in a suburb east of Paris called Dampmart.

Investigators said the couple was having marital problems.

more at  French mother arrested for slitting throats of her 3 children | Fox News.


View Champ de Mars in a larger map

Yesterday, thousands of protesters as a part of three marches, converged on the Champs de Mars in Paris, France, to show their opposition to the Marriage Equality Bill.  The bill would give the right of marriage and adoption to gay individuals. Extending the rights of same-sex couples was a part of Francois Hollande’s presidential election campaign. Police estimate the number of protesters was around 340,000 while the organizers, the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, estimate it was around 800,000.

Read More


Paris hit by wave of street muggings and grave robberies – Telegraph.

The record high price of precious metals and austerity in Paris have led to a wave of street muggings and grave robberies across the French capital.

Pantin cemetery, northern Paris, has seen a number of graves dug up and gold teeth and jewellery stolen. Pantin cemetery is the largest in Paris, with a million graves.

As well as the grave robbers and muggers, precious metal thieves have caused extensive damage and led to long delays on the French rail network. Thieves have been stealing the copper cables used along the railways.




Europe’s first gay friendly mosque has opened in Paris, France. The new mosque opened in a small room inside the house of a Buddhist monk.

The “mosque” has been critised by Muslim leaders in Paris who have said that it is, “against the spirit of Islam”. However the founder of the mosque says he is breaking “prejudices in Islam”.

The mosque will also break with traditional Muslim teaching of women. The founder, French-Algerian gay rights activist and practicing Muslim Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, says he wants to also allow women to lead Friday prayers.

Read More at France 24

Luc Besson unveils Cinema City production studio in Paris – FRANCE – CINEMA – FRANCE 24

Luc Besson unveils Cinema City production studio in Paris – FRANCE – CINEMA – FRANCE 24.

French film maker Luc Bessson has realised his dream of building a Hollywood style studio complex on the outskirts of Paris.

Cinema City will provide costume and model building; as well as production and post production facilities.

“France has Europe’s biggest film industry and yet until now it was the only European country without the infrastructure to produce a film,” said Christophe Lambert, general director of Besson’s production firm EuropaCorp.

Cinema City is being called “Hollywood on Seine”.

The project as cost 170 million euros and will need to major productions a year to cover operational costs. EuropaCorp believes the facility will be fully booked within the year, with European and America producers eager to use the studios.

Batman Premier in Paris Cancelled

After the tragic shooting in Denver, Colorado, where 12 people were killed during the Premier of the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Brothers decided to cancel the Paris Premier of the film.

The Premier in Paris was to be a star-studdied event, with director Christopher Nolan in attendance as well as cast members from the movie: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine .

Warner Brothers issued a statement saying they are “deeply saddened” by what has happened.


In France, like in all the Nazi occupied countries of Europe during the Second World War, the Jews were forced to wear the yellow star of David, and were eventually rounded up and taken to concentration camps.

Now, the French police have opened up their files telling of the French involvement in the rounding up and deportation of Jews in Paris in 1942. For decades after the war, the French authorities were reluctant to admit to any collaboration with the Nazis. Then in 1995, the then President Jacques Chirac publicly apologised for the part France played in the rounding up of Jews, “These dark hours soil our history forever and are an insult to our past and our traditions. Yes, the French and the French state seconded the occupying powers in their criminal folly,”

Although police had been rounding up Jews before 1942 in occupied Paris, there was a major crack down in July of that year, where men, women, children and the elderly were all rounded up in a massive raid on Jews in the city. Many of them were taken to the Velodrome d’Hiver, where they remained for 5 days with no sanitation or food. Then they were put on cattle trains for Auschwitz.

However, in the days leading up to the raids some French police leaked the Nazi plans, enabling many to escape. They had hoped to arrest 27,427, but “only” managed 13,152. Of these, more than 4,000 were children – none of them survived Auschwitz.

For more information see France 24