The town hall of Arles, in France, Source: Depositphotos

French mayors show indignation at ongoing violence with collective mobilization

French mayors show indignation at ongoing violence with collective mobilization

Rallies in defense of law and order were called in for today in front of town halls across the country

France has been under hot pressure of daily riots, damages and disturbances following the shooting of a teenager of Algerian origin by police officers on duty. Things, however, reached a boiling point on the weekend after the personal residence of the mayor of a Parisian suburb (L'Haÿ-les-Roses) was attacked with a vehicle and his wife was injured.

These events led to outright indignation and caused David Lisnard, mayor of Cannes and President of AMF (the national association of mayors) to call for a “collective civic mobilization” to take the shape of rallies of support in front of town halls across the country. The rallies were scheduled to begin today at noon (local time).

His appeal was to local governments and law-abiding citizens to join hands and protest in support of the restoration of law and order, as well as to show support for the rule of law, democracy and public institutions.

Calls for stronger local powers

Coincidentally, or not, the mayor of Cannes also used the opportunity to remind national authorities of the need to devolve more powers to the town councils so they can have authority to deal with extraordinary situations like these.

We will have to do this without weakness, as this crisis reflects what we have been saying for a long time about the absolute need to give local authorities the means and full responsibility for conducting local policies. The time of descending injunctions must be followed by that of local freedoms and responsibility,” said Lisnard in an open letter.

This call comes after several hundred municipalities have been the scene of violent clashes, often marked by the ransacking or burning of municipal buildings - town halls, neighbourhood houses, schools, libraries, crèches, and transport facilities.

The government has also decided to join forces: the Minister in charge of Territorial Communities, Dominique Faure, announced yesterday that she would personally go to the rally scheduled for midday in front of the town hall of Bures-sur-Yvette (in Ile-de-France). 

In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron will receive tomorrow at the Elysée the mayors of "more than 220 municipalities victims of abuse," according to information from Agence France Presse.



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