Monday, November 14, 2005

French Riots Really Dying Down?

We've been reading for five days or more that the rioting is falling off, but is it really? Could it just be the French government spin on the news, trying to convince the world public to look away and the rioters themselves to move on to other fun?

One indication is the numbers coming out about the riots each day. According to this article on the riots there were 8,300 cars torched and 2,652 people arrested from the night of Oct. 27 prior to Sunday night, Nov. 13. That's 17 nights for an average of 488 cars and 156 arrests per night.

On Friday night over 500 cars were torched and 119 were arrested. On Saturday night "only" 374 cars were torched. Of course last week 1400 cars were burned in just one night, so things have certainly settled down from that point. Not to worry, though:
"If the downward trend continues, 'things could return to normal very quickly,' National Police Chief Michel Gaudin said, noting that French youths burn about 100 cars on an average Saturday night."
What a relief! We're within striking distance of "normal" already. Perhaps that's part of the problem.

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