Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Riot rocks Paris station and campaign

Yesterday a spontaneous riot began at the busy Gare du Nord trainstation in Paris, after a man jumped a ticket barrier and was arrested. By the end of the day, nine were arrested, two injured, and police used tear gas against over 100 protesters.

But being an election year, the riot inevitable became a political factor the moment it started. Bringing back memories of the recent 2005 urban riots, which severed support of Nicolas Sarkozy in the poorer suburbs, the Socialists, rightly or wrongly, were quick to pounce.

"Yesterday night, the fights turned into a demonstration against Sarkozy,'' Julian Dray, the spokesman for the Socialist Party, said in an interview. "This shows the gap between him and the youth of this country."

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