The crisis in the suburbs continues to cause tensions in France

By refusing and disobeying the official prohibition formulated by the Ministry of the Interiorthousands of demonstrators marched in Paris and several provincial capitals on Saturday afternoon, denouncing “police violence”.

After a long week of crisis and five nights of very serious riots, fires, vandalism, looting, the government by Emmanuel Macron feared “risks to public order”, and decided to ban a dozen demonstrations that “associated” and “linked” last week’s crisis and that of 2016, when a 24-year-old man, Adama Traoré, died in a police station in the ‘banlieue’, the suburbs of Paris, under obscure circumstances.

The Traoré case was the subject of successive contradictory judicial investigations. For some, the young man died as a result of police violence. For others he was the victim of a “heart attack” of “confused” origin. Adama Traore, the dead man’s sisterhe presides over a Traoré Committee that has been calling for “justice” for seven years.

After the serious events of last week, Adama Traoré and his Committee called Saturday morning demonstrations “against police violence”, which the Ministry of the Interior has decided to prohibit. The ban hasn’t deterred thousands protesters, in Paris, Lille, Marseille, Lyon, Nantes, among other cities. In Paris an impressive display of anti-riot forces, on the Place de la République, had to use force to disperse the demonstrators, who regrouped again, leading to some violent incidents.

Arithmetically modest, the demonstrations against “police violence” are highly symbolic: they remind us that the ‘banlieue’, the suburbs of Paris and the large French cities, are a field of flammable mines, where colossal underlying problems are confused.

Since last June 27, 3,700 people were arrested, 1,160 were minors. After pre-trial detention, the justice ordered 400 people to be jailed, including a policeman accused by the prosecutor of having committed a voluntary homicide that precipitated last week’s great crisis. 60% of those arrested and imprisoned, participants in the burning of 2,508 buildings, had no criminal record. In the last year and a half, eighteen people have died in France who refused to stop their vehicles as ordered by the police. pulled down.

The increase in physical violence, from armed robberies to clashes between mafia gangs, is a brutal statistical reality, which coincides with an increase in the growing violence of the state security forces, victims of an equally tragic human crisis.

According to official statistics, during 2022 they committed suicide 46 policemen. Just under a suicide a day. This figure is very similar to that of previous years. At the time of him he police union “Alternative” He denounced the behavior of successive left-wing (Hollande) and right-wing (Macron) governments insensitive to the serious crisis that has not stopped growing between the police and the rest of the state security forces.