After five days of violent protests over the shooting of adolescent Nahel M during a traffic stop, riots in France seem to be slowing down.
The violence had decreased over the region, and less numbers of arrests were made on Sunday night. The interior ministry has been instructed by President Emmanuel Macron to maintain a “massive” police presence on the streets.
Mayors demanded that protests against the violence and looting be organized outside town buildings on Monday.
Although Mayor Patrick Jarry of Nanterre, where Nahel was born, expressed relief that the violence had subsided, he said, “We shouldn’t lose sight of the incident that sparked this situation and the continuing need for justice.”
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Later in the afternoon, several hundred people gathered in L’Ha-les-Roses to show their support for Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun, whose residence was besieged by rioters who shot rockets at his wife and children as they fled, breaking her leg and hurting one of the kids. It is being considered and regarded as an attempt to murder.
According to the Ile-de-France transportation network, the six days of rioting have cost the public transportation system in the Paris region millions of euros in damages.
France: A bit Calm
Although Sunday night was much calmer, authorities were cautious not to prematurely declare Monday a return to normalcy.
In order to ensure a “return to calm,” President Macron has instructed the Ministry of the Interior to maintain a “massive” police presence throughout France.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has stated that the 45,000 officers who have been stationed across the nation for the previous three nights will be back on the streets on Monday.
On Sunday night, very few people were taken into custody than the previous night—more than 150—than more than 700. Compared to Thursday, there were 297 more cars that were set on fire than there were on Thursday, and 34 fewer buildings were damaged or burned down than on Thursday.
On an alternate platform, a fundraising campaign for Nahel’s family was started, and as of the following day, it had raised €215,000 (£184,862). Regional administrations in France are beginning to reveal financial assistance programs for hotels and other hospitality establishments that have been stolen.
Grants will be made available to Marseille company owners, and funding from the region of Paris will aid in repairing the damaged and pillaged public facilities. But just as the summer season gets underway, there are worries that the recent wave of violence may have a long-term impact on the tourism industry.
A tourism official was quoted by the French media site Le Point as saying that up to 25% of hotel reservations in Paris had already been canceled. Ile-de-France’s regional transportation network told AFP that damage to public transportation totaling €20 million included “burned buses, a torched tramway, two damaged tramways, and urban infrastructure that was smashed.”
The turmoil constituted “a real risk” to France’s reputation, according to François Rial: “This is true even if the unrest subsides, as many tourists are allergic to risk.”