21 March 2005

Do they know who we are?

[source, source]

Hundreds of young rioters from poor Paris suburbs disrupted the demonstration on March 8, beating teenagers to the ground and stealing mobile telephones and cameras.

Le Monde newspaper carried disturbing interviews with attackers and victims in last week’s trouble - both sides agreeing that the violence was exclusively carried out on white boys and girls by black and Arab teenagers.

“If I went, it was not to demonstrate but to take telephones and beat people up. There were groups of people running about stirring things up, and in the middle these idiots - these little French people just asking for it,” an 18-year-old of Tunisian origin called Heikel said.

“We came to demonstrate against inequalities and we got beaten up. It’s as if they thought that we - the ‘white Parisians’ - had plenty of money, that we could buy a new mobile phone tomorrow,” said Tristan Goldbronn, 16, who was badly hurt.

Heikel, who attends a secondary school in the area, told Le Monde that the mainly white Parisian students who took part in the march - known in street parlance as “bolos” - were seen as spoilt and privileged, and therefore fair game.

I love reading heart-warming stories like this. The only downside is that the bolos will likely never understand why the actual poor don’t see things as the bolos do.

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