Trouble in (the Workers') Paradise
The violence began four days ago among residents of Clichy-sous-Bois over the deaths of two teenagers believed to be of African origin who were electrocuted while fleeing police.
Sixteen people were injured in violence on Friday and hundreds of residents marched on Saturday to appeal for calm and pay their respects to the dead teenagers.
It was the latest in a series of incidents in the northeastern suburbs that have attracted the attention of Sarkozy -- a presidential hopeful -- and become the target of his vow to get tough on crime.
In June, an 11-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet in the northern area of La Courneuve. The eastern suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine made headlines in 2002 when a 17-year-old girl was set alight by an 18-year-old boy.
Sarkozy launched a new crime offensive this month, ordering specially trained police to tackle 25 neighborhoods in cities throughout France.
On Monday, he told police officers they had the support of the French people and promised to provide extra manpower.
"For 30 years the situation has been getting worse in a number of neighborhoods. It's not a story that's three days, three weeks or three months old," Sarkozy said.
Of course, I was enjoying a little hyperbole above. On the other hand, my money is on Paris.