Read on for the story behind Paris’s failure to address disaffected “no-go” suburbs as looters burn dozens of cars and torch a nursery school during 5th straight night of rioting . 

  • #JUSTICEPOURTHEO Protests turn violent across Paris’ banlieus after police officer charged with raping young man with baton 5th straight night of clashes with youths on housing estates north of Paris.
  • FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE GHETTOS OF PARIS One officer charged with anally raping a young black man with expandable police baton during identity checks on a police patrol last in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a north Paris suberb.

The relationship between Paris’ poor and marginalized minorities and those charged with their protection has had a long and sad history with the anal rape of a young black man by police greeted by familiar scenes of balaclava-clad youths torching cars and trashing property in the suburbs of the French capital.

Its an unwelcome spotlight on police brutality for France, where officers are regularly accused of using excessive force in poorer neighbourhoods and targeting black and minority ethnic young men.

#JUSTICEPOURTHEO

The 22-year-old victime known only by his first name, Théo, remains in hospital recovering from injuries to the rectum that  required major emergency surgery.

He describes the alleged assault and brutal arrest, believing he was going to die. He said a police baton was forced into his anus and that he was then sprayed with teargas to the face and mouth while being beaten to the head in a sustained assault.

Apparently  the pain from being tear-gassed and beaten was only “fleeting” because he was in such pain from the baton attack. “I was walking only because they were holding me up,” he said in a message that also calls for peace and non-violent protesting methods.

Doctors said he would be incapacitated for three months while the four officers, who deny the charges, have been suspended.

Fear and Loathing in the Ghettos of France

Welcome to Aulnay-sous-Bois, a north Paris suberb where unemployment and poverty rates run as high as the tower blocks that dominate the skyline and house some of France’s most deprived people.

Astonishingly, this is the very same suburbs where riots by disgruntled youths of immigrant origin began in 2005 and spread across the country, bringing France to lockdown and opening a window on to the poor prospects of French minorities.

It is 12 years since France’s riots of 2005 promised to be the wake-up call that would end the inequalities of the high-rises in suburban banlieues. The accidental death of 2 young kids hiding from police in an electricity substation in Clichy-sous-Bois caused weeks of rioting and car-burning that spread to France’s other ghettos, with the government forced to declare a state of national emergency.

The failure to adress the real concerns of angry French minorities has come to bite her again, unresolved problems with the relationship between youth and police and an ongoing lack of equal rights in school and employment,

Still reeling from terrorist massacres that have shaken French belief in the very core of multiculturalism, it seems that France just doesn’t have a project for a society where people can live together right now.

Impending French elections will provide a referendum on how how France treats its immigrants and both sides will use the unrest to further an argument.

It is up to the French people, however, to decide whether they can tolerate a continued malaise in the trust between minority French and those that are meant to protect them.