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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sarkozy Wins, Riots Begin

Update: I realize that everyone does not read German, but Der Spiegel is carrying good coverage of the demonstrations and riots, which seem to be relatively mild (by French standards); unfortunately it is not on their English site. There are 18 pictures in this article, click on the small insert to cycle through them. According to the article, the police in Paris first used tear gas and then water cannons. Police told reporters that four or five vehicles were in flames in the suburbs (pics). Also demonstrations in Lyons, Nantes, Grenoble and Rennes. Two mildly injured policeman in Lyons; three arrests there. Firebombs in three areas, one near Orly airport, the other targets were schools and a social center in Evry and Corbeil-Essones. I don't know where some of these places are, but the cities mentioned are the same that saw significant violence in the 2005 rioting.

For those who do read German, I believe you'll find the forum discusson on the story quite an eye-opener. This is a direct quote:
"Die Nacht der langen Messer hat schon angefangen..."
"The night of the long knives has already begun."
One of my brothers claims that Europe will fight a bloody street war against Muslims at some point. Reading stuff like "Schicksalsymphonie" (symphony of fate** go to the end of the post for the complete exchange) and "Bushozy" gives his views some credence. There is an alliance between the extreme left in many European countries and the Muslim immigrants....

"Es ist an der Zeit, dass der Wind der Freiheit auch in Old Europa weht. Meine besten Wünsche mögen Sarkozy begleiten."
"It is near the time, when the wind of Freedom also will blow in old Europe. My best wishes to Sarkozy." and:
"Gespannt warten die Sozialisten auf die Unruhen in den Vorstädten von Paris, die noch nicht aufflammen wollen?...
Nicola Sarkozy, der verdiente Sieger von Frankreich wird nicht nur sein Land verändern, sondern auch Europa.
Wenn unsere Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel sich nicht ernsthaft bemüht mit Frankreich (Atommacht) eine gute und faire Freudschaft zu pflegen, wird aus der Option zu einer engen und festen militärischen Zusammenarbeit nichts werden.
Im Hinblick auf die Sicherheit Europas wird Deutschland wie bisher alleine stehen, wenn wir nicht in Zukunft unsere Prioritäten neu setzen!"
"The socialists tensely await unrest in the suburbs (outlying ghettos) of Paris, that still don't quite want to burst into flames?....
Nicholas Sarkozy, the rightful conqueror of France, will change not only his own country but also Europe.
If our Prime Minister Angela Merkel doesn't take care to nurture a good and fair friendship with France (atomic power), we will lose the chance of a close military cooperation.
With respect to the safety of Europe Germany will, as before, stand alone if we don't pay attention to our future interests!"
Honest to God, it is never good when the Germans adopt the Wagnerian tone. Among the posters are Frenchmen and at least one Czech. I would be very grateful if someone else who reads German would look at this and tell me if I am wrong for picking up a tone of envy for the outcome of this election. End Update

That didn't take long:
Riot police have fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters who gathered in central Paris to demonstrate against the presidential election victory of right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy.

The clashes took place on the Place de la Bastille where about 5,000 supporters of the defeated Socialist candidate Segolene Royal had gone to await the election results.

Up to 300 rioters, some of whom were masked, made running attacks on riot police who took up positions at the entrance to boulevards leading onto the square.

Earlier a small crowd of protesters, brandishing black and red anarchist flags, set fire to an effigy of Mr Sarkozy in the square before tearing it limb from limb and then stamping on it.
The Guardian background page on the French elections has some interesting articles. This one, written by a French history lecturer named Nabili Ramdani before the election, is illuminating:
As a young Frenchwoman of Algerian descent who has spent more time in Paris's banlieues than its famed Latin Quarter, it's clear to me that Sarkozy shows no sign of learning from his mistakes. Urban unrest will be a prevailing feature of his presidency, starting with rioting on the night he is elected. In the words of a friend: 'It may be that thousands take to the street, but I can't help feeling it's going to be worse than that'.
She rails against the brutality on the part of the brutal French police, but fails to mention the real crimes that the "protesters" are committing - the vandalism, the beatings, the attacks on buses and trains.... It's very sad, but it does look like there will be a pitched battle. The unions are also threatening massive strikes.

** Zitat von uliphant2000 Beitrag anzeigen
es ist wichtig, den deutschen klar zu machen, dass sarkozy nichts mit seinem vorgänger chirac zu tun hat, und das es hier nicht um rechts gegen links geht, wie man es allgemein anzunehmen scheint. nicolas sarkozy ist gefährlich, die parallelen mit bush weitaus nicht übertrieben: sarkozy hat einen enormen wirtschafts- und medienapparat hinter sich, und seine ansichten sind nicht konservativ, sondern durchweg reaktionär, und er pflegt dazu einen messianischen eifer. seine hasstiraden gegen alle, die ihn nicht unterstützen ("si vous n'êtes pas avec moi, vous êtes contre moi"), sein extrem agressiver wortgebrauch ("kärcher", "racaille", "je vais tous vous niquer"), seine anbandelungen mit der eugenik, seine "immigration choisie", dies alles hat dazu geführt, die franzosen gegeneinander aufzuhetzen: die armen gegen die reichen, die alten gegen die jungen, die starken gegen die schwachen - das hat nichts mit der republikanischen rechten à la chirac zu tun. ich fürchte, dass die nächsten 5 jahre hier in frankreich ziehmlich explosiv sein werden - vous avez dit changement? vous aurez une explosion! néfaste, celle-ci...
Dann wird es halt explosiv! Ihr müsst euch dem Problem stellen. Mehr Mut, mehr Andacht. Ich bin stolz und froh, dass euch das Schicksal dazu zwingt. Ganz ohne Zustandslyrik, neben jeder Schicksalssymphonie. Durch Frankreich muss ein Ruck gehen. Bis weit in die Mittelschichten hinein.
For David of Photon Courier, who has a post with his own good links on Sarkozy, a somewhat free translation:
Quote from uliphant2000
It's important to make it clear to Germans that Sarkozy has nothing to do with his predecessor Chirac, and that this is not a matter of left versus right, as everyone seems to accept. Nicholas Sarkozy is dangerous, not to take the parallel with Bush too far; Sarkozy has enormous economic and media influence behind him, and his views are not conservative, but rather thoroughly reactionary, advanced with a messianiac zeal. His tirades of hate against anyone who does not support him (if you are not with me, you are against me), his use of extremely aggressive language (thugs, rabble?, ??I will set myself against you??), his association with eugenics[!!!!], his "selective immigration"[refers to Sarkozy's claim that France should welcome those who want to be French, rather than those who want to make France into something else], all of this has set the French against one another, the poor against the rich, the old against the young, the strong against the weak - this has nothing to do with the republican right a la Chirac. I fear that the next five years in France [the length of Sarkozy's term of office] will be explosive. You have pronounced change? You will hear an explosion!
Then let it explode! They must confront the problem. More courage, more dedication [this is a loaded word in the context, it implies devotion to a cause greater than oneself]. I am proud and happy that fate is forcing them to it. [literal] Completely without the music of the times, nearer a symphony of fate. [free & implied: A fateful symphony rather than the stale theme music of our current order] A jolt [free: jarring disruption] must pass through France. Forward into the transition! [free: On to this decisive passage of history; Mittelschicht is an intermediate layer.]

There's no Winston Churchill to save them this time.

My wife and I had perhaps the most memorable kiss of our relationship on a bridge in Paris. I suspect my daughters will have to find another spot.
Let's hope you are not a prophet....

It's hard to reverse these things.
MOM, could you translate the rest of the comment about the Night of the Long Knives? I do read some German, but am not grasping what he's trying to say.
Not surprising, it is emotive, contextual and figurative. I did my best above to translate it at bottom of the post.

This was a different comment than the long knives comment; that went:
Die Nacht der langen Messer hat schon angefangen;

D.Strauß-Kahn hat schon das Messer gezückt, Jack Lang versucht dagegen zu halten.
Die Sozialisten kämpfen jetzt schon gegeneinander.

"The night of the long knives has already begun.

D. Strauss-Kahn has already pulled out the knife, Jack Lang attempts to hold out against it.

The socialists will soon be fighting against one another."

Jack Lang is a French socialist politician who was Minister of Culture and then Minister of Education. Dominique Strauss-Kahn (a man of Jewish background) is also a French socialist but more of an economist who also is in politics. In context, I think the comparison between the Jack Lang "outreach" brand of education/ culture and Strauss-Kahn's pragmatic rationalism is apposite. It also seems to be a veiled reference to Sarkozy's Jewish and immigrant background; there appear to anti-Semitic undertones here. Strauss-Kahn is something of a commercialist. So the conflict seems to be represented as an brand of socialism that was very conciliatory toward the French Muslim immigrant population being confronted with a newer, business-oriented JEWISH brand of socialism hostile to Muslims, and the writer is remarking that the later is instigating a conflict with Muslim immigrants.

There are Wikipedia entries for both men.
Riots Begin?
So what else is new?

Rioting is an old, old tradition in Paris. Goes back centuries.


In German, "Night of Long Knives" originally meant June 30, 1934, when the SS massacred any and every rival to Hitler. (Cue the song "Last Day of June, 1934" on Al Stewart's 1973 album Past, Present, and Future.) It has since come to mean any sort of purge or revenge actions after a major change of management -- the new winner "pulls out the knife" and gets even with the loser (who was formerly the winner "pulling out the knife" on the former loser and new winner).
Hey you Americans,
You don't have to look at German newspapers to read about France.
Yesterday it was quite hot all over the country after the election of rightwing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. Over 700 cars burned, around 600 arrests and lots of damage and 30 wounded policemen.
It's called 'the french democracy'...or bad losers.
This evening, Monday, it has started all over again, and will continue for another few weeks, I guess.
At least it will prop up new car sales, and insurance premiums, and the window replacers will have golden times... So far, Sarkozy keeps his promise that he would revitalise the French economy...and that therefor he also needed the involvement of those who had not voted for him.
It's fully working...stay tuned!

This is fascinating, and while I don't understand all of the nuances it seems like something important is going on. At the risk of oversimplification, are most of the rioting people Muslim foreigners aligned with the left in France?

I find some interesting parallels to the illegal alien situation here in the US. So far, the May day "protests" have been largely peaceful, but the left and the illegal alien pressure groups (La Raza, et al) are risking a serious and violent backlash should they continue along these lines. There is a great amount of hostile sentiment that is building among our (very heavily armed) population. We could experience our very own night of long knives that would mark a new era of American fascism. My guess is that if this ever played out fully, many millions of Mexicans would wind up dead or in internment camps, as part of a twisted "final solution." This could only happen if there was a serious economic catastrophe that was to befall the US for some reason, and a new Hitler-type figure emerged to place all of the blame upon the illegal aliens. Sounds far-fetched but it could happen.
When Europe awakens (and I believe she will before it's all over), the solution to the "immigrant" problem will not be assimilation. It will be a wee more stringent. The Socialists threaten to deliver their countries into the hands of extremists of a familiar sort. They won't be relatively mild "conservatives" trying to get people back to work. As usual those who paint conservatives with a totalitarian brush, fail to see the fascist tendancies that truly define the edges.
On the Hispanic issue, I don't think so. I think France's problem is like Norway's or Denmark's - the recent immigrants have a very difficult problem getting work and integrating economically. Socialized countries tend to work well for the established, but make it harder for everyone to move up the economic scale. The US has a very different economic system.

John, my French is not as good as my German. But anyway, I was struck not as much by the French population's response as by the German response!
Earlier this week, morning drive-time radio (Los Angeles area) was saying that the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and Skinheads are using the illegal alien problem for major recruiting. Apparently KKK recruitment is booming on a level not seen since the Second Klan back in the 1920s -- even reaching up into the Great Lakes region like the Second Klan.

Radio did not say anything about the demographics or quality of the new recruits; if it's the same as the Third Klan (white trash/trailer trash/street thugs), they can get violent but won't be a serious threat. If the Fourth Klan repeats the Second Klan (doctors, lawyers, money, power, pillars of the community), start worrying.

(Posting from what was known in the Roaring Twenties as "Klanaheim, Kalifornia".)
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