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Fallout from riots in France
Fallout from riots in France | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Fallout from riots in France

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody, and a happy Fourth to you. Just a couple of days in Nantucket. Very enjoyable. And wanted to talk a little bit about a place that is a little less enjoyable right now, which is France.

You've seen massive riots across the country over almost a week, the worst in nearly 20 years in France, which is really saying something for that country. Social protest is basically taken as sport and riots are frequent. But even in that context, this has been notable and exceptional. What what sparked it off has nothing to do with extending pensions from 62 to 64. Those were major demonstrations across the country, but basically just shut down the economy for a period of time. Not so much violent protests. No, these violent riots and lootings and the like were set off by the French police gunning down a 17 year old French boy about Algerian descent. He was trying to get away from the police. They were trying to stop him. The police immediately said that he was killed in self-defense, that he was trying to run the police over. That turned out very quickly to be a lie because there was video capturing the French gunning at him as he was trying to get away and that it's kind of a George Floyd type situation in France. The response is deeply political. In other words, what you believe about who is responsible depends very little on the facts of the case and overwhelmingly on where you happen to stand politically. On the one hand, you've got Muslims that are seen by the right in France as taking over French identity, as not really being French. Big structural problems in France, in the suburbs outside of the wealthier French cities where most of the Muslim population lives. A lot of drug trafficking there, a lot of violent crime, a lot of poverty. If you ask the average French citizen what percentage of the population is Muslim, on average, they respond by saying a third, which is insane. It's actually some 10%. But that sensibility gives you a sense of how this is played on the right politically in France.

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