riots in paris

Oct 31st, 2005, 02:31 PM
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riots in paris

I have an upcoming trip to France planned with a 5 day stay in Paris. I've seen reports today that some suburbs of paris have been rioting for 4 days. This really worries me as I will be traveling with children. The police have been called out in their riot gear apparantly. Can anyone who recently returned fill me in (if they know) of the political climate there?
brennynp is online now  
Oct 31st, 2005, 02:47 PM
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Just came back from Paris on Saturday. We did watch the news every day and really didn't see any riots or even news of them. Certainly, in my daily travels I never spotted any unrest in Paris itself. Only suburb we went to was Neuilly sur Seine. All was quiet.

Now, that being said, a few times we did see police with large guns in some places, like near the Metro. There were only a handful of them at the time and they looked mildly bored. Never any crowds that looked unruly. I don't think there is anything to worry about.

Keep your wits about you, but most of all .... enjoy!
Oct 31st, 2005, 02:50 PM
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well, that is in the suburbs, a lower-income immigrant area. that isn't something that's never happened before, Paris periodically has some crime and other problems in those suburbs. This isn't even in Paris proper but up north above the peripherique (the big highway around Paris).

Where do you intend to go, anyway? I can't imagine why you'd be in that area. But this has happened before.
Christina is online now  
Oct 31st, 2005, 03:58 PM
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I've been reading the reports as well. I would not hesitate to take my children to Paris. From what I can tell, this is all happenn in a area far away from cental Paris.
highledge is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 06:53 PM
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I have seen large demonstrations in Paris as well as other European cities during my travels. It appears to be a common occurrance in Europe. The majority of these demonstrations are non-violent. Police dressed in riot gear does not automatically mean that it is violent. Are you sure that the situation is a riot (vandalism, fire bombs, looting, ect) and not just a very large deomonstration?
parisnow is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 07:00 PM
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it's in a burb where tourists never go. Here is the story.
cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 07:01 PM
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There are often police in the metro, doesn't have to be anything unusual going on.

(it was a disturbance, several cars set on fire, 2 youths died by electrocution accident, a small riot the 2nd evening against the police - not a demonstration).
Travelnut is offline  
Nov 1st, 2005, 01:45 AM
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Not to make light of the disturbances in Clichy-sous-Bois but it's a poor northern suburb, not Paris, where such things almost never happen in any neighborhood.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Nov 1st, 2005, 03:02 PM
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The riots primarily are in suburbs inhabited mostly by N. African/Middle Eastern immigrants. From what I've read in news accounts, the rioters are Muslim and the police at one point had to shoot tear gas into a mosque (which infuriated the rioters even more). Even though it's extremely unlikely the average tourist would venture into any of these suburbs, it remains that a lot of unsavory and very aggressive folks frequent tourist attractions and Metro stations, so caution is urged. We encountered some unsavory and very aggressive folks (pardon my lack of political correctness, but they clearly were immigrants) in a Metro station and at Sacre Coeur.
flsd is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2005, 04:31 AM
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Just got back from Paris late last night (I'm up with jet lag!). While in CDG waiting for our plane they evacuated us 3 times (Terminal 2). The first 2 times they just made everyone leave the upper level, but the third time they evacuated us all out the door (but we could mill around, which seemed unwise if there HAD been a bomb or something in the terminal itself!) Everything was very calm and we had the feeling this precaution is taken quite frequently, as the shop owners, agents, etc. took it in stride. I'm telling you this only so you'll not be overly concerned, but rather expect to see the guys in camouflag carrying machine guns at their sides and know that, in this day and age, it's normal procedure, so don't be freaked by it. I do, however, suggest you find a cybercafe and print your boarding passes for the return flight OR get to the airport really early (I'd suggest four hours) before departure if you have to get a bp from an agent. I felt really sorry for all those people who stood in line forever and had to evacuate and start all over again!
MelJ is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2005, 05:26 AM
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Police in three (instead of pairs like in the USA) with at least one carrying an automatic rifle in Paris is common. Airport police in CDG with big guns is also common even when their are no riots or terrorist alerts. Remember they have been dealing with this for many more years than us. I was a youngster but can still remember the news reports of that horrible Christmas in the Paris airport. Americans need to get over this Political Correctness hype. "Oh it is too intimidating to have an officer walking a beat with an automatic rifle!" But they can walk a beat with a glock or sig?
parisnow is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2005, 06:35 AM
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My family & I were actually in Paris a few years ago when our current war broke out. Short of a small art inspired demonstration, I would have never known, had I not picked up a newspaper. The riots, & their locale, will have no impact on your trip.
SAnParis is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2005, 07:10 AM
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Like parisnow, I too can remember times in Paris when it was under seige. I was in Paris in 1958 for a vacation during the Algerian fight for independence when armed guards stood behind shields in front of Notre Dame. Acquaintances of my wife had to take shelter inside a doorway when shots were exchanged between police and Algerian nationalists in central Paris. The arming of French police and paramilitaries has continued since then. If you've ever been in Paris for the Nov 11th parade you'll have seen how significant their presence can be.

It is a misconception that immigrants are the culprits in the terrorist acts. Theo Van Gogh was slaughtered by a native born, the London subway bombers were native born and, I believe, were the Madrid train bombers. Hatred can be homegrown.

However, brennynp, I wouldn't be deterred.

jsmith is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2005, 04:20 PM
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Katrin Bennhold of the International Herald Tribune has done an excellent job of putting these disturbances in context:
Dave_in_Paris is offline  

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