Monday, November 07, 2005

Melody of Riot

"There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

"So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw."
-Rush, The Trees

Two French-born 3rd generation African teens were electrocuted to death while hiding in a power factory in Paris, in the belief that the police were running after them. The two were reportedly throwing stones and molotov cocktails against policemen. African and Muslim young men living in the ghettos of suburban Paris learned of the deaths and had had enough. Some officials say this is what started the now eleven days of violent riots in Paris.

Okay, so reading the reports makes me think nobody really knows why there was such a violent reaction. And none of the officials seems to know what to do to stop the violence, either. Had everyone really just had enough of the police brutality? Are conditions for these populations really that bad? Or could this possibly be just a violent over-reaction by aggressive and uneducated young men acting out their youth angst and surging hormones? I'll be honest, conditions are probably pretty bad where these kids live, but the reaction is so fierce, and caused by the death of two boys who were already provoking police in a dangerous manner. It looks a lot more like male-pack-brutality.

Some causes for group violence and poverty can be explored here. Basically poor men tend to be more prone to violence, and tend to join groups with violent behavior. This isn't really shocking news, but you can still read it here anyway.

2 comments:

Panini said...

wow, I hadn't heard about that. How sad. And it's true that testosterone and poverty seem to be a terrible combination.
p.s. You missed the final version of my blog, which appropriately, included you. :)

SJ said...

Read it, the finished product. Thanks gorgeous!

Riots have broken out in 274 towns so far. The Prime Minister decided to impose a curfew to stop the violence.