Philippe Rio has been mayor of Grigny, in Essonne, since 2012. Confronted with city violence because the loss of life of Nahel M., a 17-year-old younger man killed by a police officer in Nanterre on June 27 following a refusal to conform , the elected communist returns to the explanations for the conflagration. That are, based on him, above all social.
What’s the state of affairs for 3 days in your metropolis?
It is very variable, and a bit unusual: final evening, in some locations all the things was high quality, individuals have been chatting exterior, we got here throughout very quiet younger individuals. Elsewhere, one may discover an ultra-violent group, which sought confrontation with the police. This Thursday afternoon, within the coronary heart of town of Grande-Borne the place I’m, all the things is calm, the mother and father are bringing the youngsters dwelling from faculty… However the actuality is that we reside on a powder keg. The spark was Nahel’s loss of life.
How do you clarify that one neighborhood is on fireplace, somewhat than one other?
All of us say to ourselves that there’s “like an air of 2005” [une année marquée par des violences urbaines après la mort de deux adolescents, Zyed et Bouna, qui cherchaient à échapper à un contrôle de police à Clichy-sous-Bois, en Seine-Saint-Denis]. However there’s a novelty: working-class neighborhoods the place there’s often no stress are involved, but additionally extra combined neighborhoods, that are by no means confronted with city violence. Communes like Saintry-sur-Seine, the place there is no such thing as a political district of town, have been affected. In Nandy, in Seine-et-Marne, the city corridor was attacked. In neighborhoods commonly topic to upheavals of city violence, issues are clearly extra organised.
How one can clarify that anger spreads so shortly from one neighborhood to a different, in typically distant cities?
There’s a phenomenon of mimicry and competitors. If the violence begins to escalate someplace round 9 p.m., that units the tempo for others and lifts inhibitions. We have been already observing it in 2005 and it’s undoubtedly the identical phenomenon, aggravated by the virality of social networks. The movies flow into and the teams imitate one another. In 2005, there have been no photos.
What are the weather that trigger this “powder keg” impact of which you communicate?
There’s a silent struggling. Covid-19 and inflation have been horrible accelerators of inequality and poverty. Because the riots of 2005, working-class neighborhoods have grow to be impoverished and inequalities have exploded. In my city, which is the poorest in France, 50% of the inhabitants reside under the poverty line.
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