More than 1200 cars were bruned last night, a few of which were actually in Paris, near the Place de la Republique . . . Hey, that's my neighborhood!
I saw a LOT of flics around there this afternoon. Several police vans. (Maybe somebody had his feet on his seat.) A few other cop cars were on their way. I didn't see any smoking remains of cars, but I wasn't looking until after 5:00 pm and I can't imagine they would still be there by that hour.
I don't talk to real French people very often, so I don't know how on their mind this is. It wasn't overwhelming Radio France until today and was growing in Liberation's RSS feed, until it finally, today, outnumbered other stories. I have no idea where it was in print newspapers and I don't know if people are talking about it. Right now, It's all over Radio France. I went out for dinner last night at the restaurant across the street from my building and the restaurant was packed. Oddly, it was packed with Americans(!). My apartment building is next to a Hotel which seems to have a mostly American clientele. The food was really really good Lebanese food. The laso had Lebanese wine, which is kind of a surprising thing to exist . . .. Anyway.
This uprising is very strange, because I just can't imagine it in the USA. They would have been shooting rioters by now. Also, it's really brilliant to be sending guys on motorbikes out with molotov cocktails. In an alarming sort of way. How could you stop that? So it's partly shocking because of how un-violent the "violence" is. Partly shocking how the cops aren't escalating things in the way they would at home. Partly shocking because this never happens at home. Why shouldn't oppressed people burn cars in the USA?
Ok, so, since this is now close to my abode, I'm making sure that Cola and I always carry our passports when we go out, in case we get stopped. Tomorrow, when the BHV opens again, I'm going to go buy a smoke alarm. And aside form that, I don't know. I've been around Republique around 2:00 AM and there were a lot of people out. The fires there were apparently set near 3:00 AM. I don't feel unsafe as long as it's crowded. And . . . well, this is just part of life here. Nobody seems to be freaking out.