French President Macron blames social media for recent violence and riots across France that has seen four nights of burning buildings, vehicles and looting in scores of French towns and cities (see video below)
Macron also says that there is an ‘instrumentalisation’ of the murder of a 17 year old Arab youth by French police.
Videos from across France show clashes between protesters and Police, looting of shops and the burning of at least one entire shopping complex.
The biggest library in Marseilles is reported to have been burned down and police stations set on fire.
Some videos purport to show armed rioters on the streets brandishing what appear to be police/military grade weapons.
The immediate cause of the rioting was the shooting dead of an Algerian 17 year old male at a traffic stop earlier this week. Initial attempts by police to cover-up the shooting and deflecting blame onto the victim has worsened the situation.
Much of the reporting on the riots is distinctly shaped by ethnic and racial associated commentary.
Some commentators are relating the disaffection of the large Algerian and overall African populations in France and the French state’s history of their oppression both in Africa and within France itself.
Other commentators are reflecting on the challenge and social effects of mass-immigration into France and the challenges posed to law and order as a result.
It is notable that although a significant portion of the videos online appear to show males of African origin involved in the protests, rioting and looting, many of the videos could not be described as showing a dominant ethnicity with Caucasian Europeans being equally present.
Macron’s official response to the riots (see video below) is being heavily criticised online as further deflection from the cause of the current riots and overall disaffection with his government.