Bastille Day

Rioters Burn 317 Cars in France

This Bastille Day, the French celebrated their country in what is becoming a grim, albeit historically appropriate tradition: riots. Der Spiegel reports that at least 317 cars were torched yesterday in French cities despite the deployment of 10,000 police officers. Bastille-Day-eve violence has become traditional in France as disaffected young men seize the occasion to express anger at unemployment rates and failed policies toward ethnic minorities. The cars torched represented a seven percent increase over last year and police arrested almost double the number of protesters—240—despite a new law that has toughened punishments against rioters. Last night marked the third day of rioting in Lyon, and the second day of unrest in Paris, as people demonstrated against two unrelated incidents of alleged police brutality that took place on July 8.