Deja Vu in France's Banlieues

Deja Vu in France's Banlieues

There’s a distinct feel of déjà vu about the rioting that erupted last week in the northern French cathedral city of Amiens. Not that urban riots are a particularly French phenomenon, of course; but the disturbances in Amiens do ring loud bells of recognition in France. In the worst scenes of civil unrest for some time, youths from deprived estates fought with riot police, cars and public buildings were set ablaze, firearms were discharged against the police and tear gas against the rioters, and 16 police officers were reported among the casualties.

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