French mayors have called for a civic mobilization to uphold the rule of law in response to the recent violence following the police killing of a 17-year-old French-Algerian. The mayors have urged citizens to gather at their local town halls to show support for “a return to order in the republic”. Government buildings have been targeted with extreme violence over the past week.
In the commune of L’Hay-les-Roses, dozens of people answered the call and gathered to show their support. The mayor of the Paris suburb, Vincent Jeanbrun, has been directly targeted, with his home being rammed with a burning car. Fortunately, the official was not present at the time, but his wife and children were able to escape safely.
The killing of Nahel M. during a traffic stop has sparked a major crisis for President Emmanuel Macron, who has faced several waves of turmoil during his tenure. In response, the Elysse Palace is considering imposing a nationwide state of emergency.
A recent survey conducted by Ifop for Le Figaro newspaper reveals that 69% of the public supports the implementation of a state of emergency, and a similar percentage expressed a negative attitude towards the rioters. However, opinions are more divided when it comes to the conduct of the police force. Following accusations of racism after last Tuesday’s incident, 43% expressed trust in the police, while 14% showed sympathy towards them. On the other hand, 32% viewed the police with concern or hostility.
In a show of support for the officer who fired the shot that sparked the unrest, a crowdfunding campaign has raised over €850,000 ($925,000) as of Monday morning, with more than 40,000 individuals contributing. The largest donation, according to reports, was €3,000 ($3,250). By the end of the day, the campaign had surpassed the €1 million euros ($1.09 million) mark.
The civil unrest in France comes after months of protests against a controversial pension reform. Labor organizations have been on strike and staging demonstrations since January to oppose an increase in the retirement age, which was approved without a parliamentary vote.
The public’s overwhelming condemnation of the violence and the mayors’ call for a return to order reflect the growing concern over the unrest in France. The support for a state of emergency and the crowdfunding campaign for the police officer involved in the incident highlight the division within the country regarding law enforcement.
President Macron is facing a significant crisis, with the need to address the underlying issues that have led to the protests and violence. The situation calls for a careful balance between maintaining public order and addressing the concerns and grievances of the French population. The coming days and weeks will be crucial in determining the path forward for France and its leadership.