It certainly seems to outside observers such as myself that things are escalating in France, so much so that a state of emergency has been declared:
France declared a 12-day state of emergency today in an attempt by the government to curb the worst civil disturbances in the country in nearly four decades.
The government of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin used a 1955 law drafted during the Algerian War to impose a curfew and other restrictive measures on areas where rioters have sown disorder in the streets for 12 days, burning thousands of cars, targeting businesses, schools and churches with gasoline bombs, and firing ammunition at the police. At least one person has died.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announced after an emergency cabinet meeting this morning that the curfew would take effect at midnight in areas to be determined at a meeting of senior regional officials later in the day.
By mid-afternoon, the officials – prefects of France’s seven military zones – were still trying to hammer out details of the measure, said Franck Louvrier, a spokesman for Mr. Sarkozy. He said it was unclear whether the curfew would apply only to minors or to the entire population of towns like Clichy-sous-Bois, the suburb northeast of Paris where the trouble started on Oct. 27 when two youths jumped over the wall of an electrical substation and died, thinking they were being pursued by the police.