It was to be expected that non-French people at the London Business School (and elsewhere) would turn to French people to get an update and some explanations of the problems in France. Media coverage has been so extensive in the past days that everyone knows there is something quite tragic going on there and some of my classmates are asking me if it is still safe to go to France next week. Yes it is still safe and France is not (yet) on the travel warning web site
of the US state government but after 11 days of rioting, the situation just look terrible and my previous post
about urban warfare was actually correct.
Saturday night: 1,300 cars burned in dozen of cities including 30 in downtown Paris. Sunday night: 800 cars destroyed, 30 policemen wounded and no visible end in sight.
Of course, for the land of the Human Right, so proud of its integration model, this comes as a bit of a shock and where Katrina exposed the inequalities of the US society, the French riots are showing to the world the failure of the French model when it comes to integrate its immigrants. The WSJ has its views about the situation
, actually quite balanced even from this usually prone to French bashing paper.
In any case, the law and order must be restored in the short term before contagion spread to more cities, not only in France but in other European countries as well but what about long term solutions: positive discrimination, social housing spread posh neighborhoods... But is it the right way and is the French society ready for this?