There Go Those French Youths Again

The January 4th edition of The Australian has the story in English:

     President Jacques Chirac has vowed to bring to justice a gang that terrorised hundreds of train passengers in a long rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year’s Day.
The two hour criminal frenzy by between 20 and 30 youths was “totally unacceptable,” he said.

That’s what they can rape, robbery, mayhem and vandalism in France: “unacceptable.” Golly whiz, those youths are a caution.

     The gang boarded the train, bound from Nice on the French Riviera to Lyon, in eastern France, early on January 1, as it carried 600 passengers home from New Year’s Eve partying overnight.
Once inside, they went wild, forcing passengers to hand over mobile telephones and wallets, and slashing seats and breaking windows.
A 20-year-old woman cornered by several of the marauders was sexually molested.

So of course the passengers decided they were going to stop these thugs and they managed to subdue them, right? In your dreams.

Well then… plan B: so of course the police were called and they surrounded the train and took the miscreants away in large vans, right? You wish.

It’s true. The police were called. And the train was stopped. And then the police waited for reinforcements before entering the train –while the thugs continued their rampage inside.

And then the police got on the train and the train proceeded on to Lyon. I kid you not:

     The three officers who initially turned up had to wait for reinforcements before boarding, during which time the youths continued to cause trouble.
The train then resumed its journey with a heavy police presence aboard but, just before Marseille, the youths pulled the emergency stop and escaped by running along the tracks.

What kind of country do you have when the police are not as swift as the criminals? And what does a “heavy police presence” mean? Six fat guys with billy clubs? You get one guess which kind of French “youths” were involved. Ah, mais oui!:

     Only three – two 19-year-old Moroccans and a minor, all living in France – were arrested.

Pray tell, where else would they be living, if they jump on a train in Nice?

But never fear. Chirac is on the job:

     “Those guilty will be found and punished as they deserve.”

Well, that’s a relief, J.C.

The New Year celebrations depredations do not bode well for 2006 in La Belle France. How do you say “we are up the creek without a paddle” in French?

Hat tip: Sir Humphrey’s

12 thoughts on “There Go Those French Youths Again

  1. You see this type of thing will continue to happen as long as the unfortunate youths are so misunderstood. Misunderstanding breeds social injustice, which results in this type of misunderstanding.

    A true understanding of these unfortunate youths might involve the forceful application of a blunt object to their heads. Perhaps something even worse.

  2. What gets me is, the youths pulled the break and ran before *Marseilles*. . . not before the station where the police boarded.

    IOW, the police spent a whole lot of time on the train doing not a damn thing, rather than what they should have done: arrested every damn rioter *before* letting the train continue.

  3. How art the French fallen ! Despite my distaste, to put it mildly, for the present regime (political and cultural) in France, I have always been a Francophile.

    Oh for twenty minutes of Napoleon I, Napoleon III, Thiers, Gambetta or Marshal Foch ! Any of those worthies would know how to handle scumbags like these !

  4. Six hundred passengers on the train. I’ve got to believe that as this barbarism went on hour after hour, the word spread throughout every coach.

    Six hundred passengers to 20 to 30 “marauders” is a ratio of 30 to 1 or at worst 20 to 1. And apparently there was no effort to stop the vandals. Even the police seem to have been intimidated.

    Like el jefe maximo, I admire many things about French culture. But when a group that probably numbered more than 200 grown men — men? — allow this behavior without putting an end to it, something is deeply wrong in the country’s soul.

  5. Ah, yes, Joan of Arc. Who did the French such a great service (defeating the English army) that they burned her at the stake.

    The French police acted in typical fashion. It’s understandable that 3 flic might want to call for reinforcements against a dozen or so wild animals, but on this side of the pond, we’ve found that guns can be quite effective.

  6. To be fair to the French, the English and English clergy orchestrated the conviction and burning of Jeanne d’Arc. But Charles VII didn’t do all he could to get her back.

    Sacrificing women to greater foreign policy goals is a long French tradition. This, among other reasons, is why the greatest French military victories in modern history involve sinking the Rainbow Warrior in port and shooting unarmed civilians in the Ivory Coast.

  7. Australians rampaged, taking matters into their own hands, when they perceived that their government could not or would not protect them from gangs of thugs. Innocent people were attacked by this mob, but at least their actions, born of frustration, “woke up” Australian authorities, forcing them to do their job. Will the French ever similarly “wake up?” Le Pathetic!

  8. I have a story told to me many years ago by a friend who was in France in I believe around 1970.

    He was there as a tourist and it was his first trip out of the USA.

    He was not a large guy, about 5ft 7in and really a nice average American from Texas. He was with his wife. He was not one of those loudmothed Texans that you hear about who cause problems or trouble at almost every chance.

    He and his wife werer walking down the street in Paris, taking pictures and stopping sometimes for a beer or snack.

    At one intersection he and his wife saw a man grab a woman and drag her down a side street. They hurried down to that street and saw that he was hitting her as he was tearing her clothes off.

    My friend ran down the side street and pulled the attacker off of the woman and proceeded to pound his ass into the pavement.

    In the meanwhile his wife was consoling and trying to help the woman get her clothes into some kind of order.

    To make a long story short, my friend was arrested for assult and had to pay a fine of $1,000 American dollars and was ordered to leave France immediately.

    It doesn’t pay to mix in French business.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas

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