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For much of the world, they became iconic of France’s worst social ills: the burned-out carcasses of thousands of cars set ablaze during nearly three weeks of nationwide rioting in 2005. But as yet another orgy of automobile arson on Wednesday demonstrated, the torching of cars in France has not only become an everyday event; it’s also now a regular form of expression for disenfranchised suburban youths wanting to make sure the rest of the country doesn’t forget they exist. And their fiery presence is never felt so strongly as it is each New Year’s Eve – the day of France’s unofficial festival of car-burning.
A few unruly kids light up some Roman candles and everyone takes it in stride:
In a country where car-burning isn’t a common symptom of socioeconomic unrest, news of so many automobiles being torched would be alarming – if not a sign of brewing insurrection. In France, however, word of the destruction that accompanied the evening the French call Saint-Sylvestre was met with a mix of Gaulic shrugs and low-grade peevishness.
Just how many cars are we talking about?
Nearly 43,000 cars were torched in France over the whole of 2007 – an average of almost 118 per day.
Joining the punks, insurance fraudsters:
According to the National Observatory on Delinquency, as many as 20% of cars burned each year are suspected insurance fraud.
those sneering clowns peddling the “good society” “superior lifestyle” and even that “superiority due to their ability to execute well their own cuisine” racket.
Prior posts on 2007 French rioting here
In Paris, where organisers claimed 25,000 turned out for a march led by Communist and left-wing politicians, the crowd chanted “We are all Palestinians” and “Israel killers.” Many sported traditional Palestinian scarves.
As the protesters dispersed, between 200 and 300 tried to make their way toward the Israeli embassy near the Champs Elysees but were blocked by police barricades. Several cars were set alight as well as Israeli flags, an AFP correspondent reported.
Several cars were also torched or overturned and windows smashed in the city’s midtown shopping district, but calm appeared to return as of early evening, according to an AFP journalist.
Gateway Pundit also posts that
After the Paris rally 500 of the protesting “youths” turned violent, throwing objects at police, burning Israeli flags, overturning and torching cars, and vandalizing several shops. Ten police officers were injured in the clashes and 20 protesters arrested.
And what does France do? France condemns Israel land offensive in Gaza