Thursday, November 03, 2005


You've probably been hearing some news about riots going on in this part of the world. I've had a few 'hope you're ok!' messages from some dear friends who like to worry, so in case you're thinking along the same lines, I thought I'd post this up...

The Seine Saint-Denis and Seine et Marne areas of the north/north-east of Paris have long been problematic zones, with large numbers of poor immigrants, high density housing, few services, and an urban landscape to make you weep. The sort of activities of late - burning cars, destroying property - aren't new, it's simply the length of time (a week) they've been going on is unusual. Apparently the standard average is 5 or so days. There are incidents of this sort fairly frequently on the whole. They think there might be more problems tonight, I guess we'll see how it develops.


wandering lizard said...

Hey Nyx, thanks for the update. I was wondering why the first we heard over here was when rioting had been going on for 6 days. I'm sure there is fodder for scathing political statements when rioting in Paris is only newsworthy when it lasts a week or more, but I'll leave that to people more inclined to make scathing political statements. Glad you're ok.

juliana said...

I just got back from a week in Paris (St Germain en Laye to be exact) and I had a co-worker tell me that I was fortunate to not be there this week. I almost wish I could print out your little map and show her how far west St. Germain is compared to your little circled area. I know that if I were there I wouldn't really be affected.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad. I've been to Paris many times (one of my most favorite cities) and have seen homeless many times before but I was never aware of the poverty in the suburbs or the racism that existed in France. The BBC has been covering the riots and race relations extensively. I was not aware that minorities are absent from positions of power, such as politics or large companies. I didn't realize it was so difficult being a person of color in France It's time racism was wiped off the map from every country which it exists.

The Prophecy said...

Hey Nyx,

I am a writer (Ramla A.) at, one of the many city blogs that the USA-based hosts. Metblogs is seeking more Paris-based writers, and I found your blog by following links from French blogs. It's a very interesting blog, and you could find a larger audience through Metblogs.

To apply, visit: Please pass the word around to fellow Parisian metbloggers, and French bloggers from other cities, for that matter. Regards.

Nyx said...

Part of the problem was that a lot of the housing estates - where the problem is often localised - were built rapidly, with poor urban planning, a few decades ago to deal with fluctuating migration.It's the kids of these migrants who are now stuck in a cycle of poverty and discrimination. These areas are largely ignored and desperately lack services. But sadly enough, I've seen worse (ie people living in condemned crumbling roofless houses hidden along the overgrown river banks)

Fiso said...

Hi Nyx,

I just discovered your blog and I really like it.
I also find your analysis of the late events quite correct, even though the lack of services in these suburbs is also due to the physical attacks that the police, firemen and medicals have to suffer when they go there. This is why most of them don't even bother going there anymore and leave the residents more and more isolated.
I'll keep an eye on your blog ... take care !
This sad situation was expectable anyway ... let's hope the younger generation will do better !