For two nights in a row, residents of the northern Paris neighbourhood near the Stalingrad metro station have clashed with drug addicts and dealers, targeting them with mortar fireworks.
Residents of the 19th district of Paris reported the clashes on social media, posting videos of incidents in which local youths had targetted the drug addicts over the weekend.
“For two nights, we’ve been living in horror. We’re in the middle of Paris and hear gunshots, and we’re not sleeping,” a 30-year-old local stated, while another told Le Figaro that the attacks were focused on an area known for drug dealing.
A police source confirmed to the newspaper that the attackers were local young people who had become frustrated with the urban insecurity related to the presence of the addicts and dealers.
Residents have formed associations aimed at putting pressure on local government to act. But according to Pierre Liscia, head of the Libres! party, residents are proposing more “radical solutions” to the problems.
Almost Half of French Would Support Military Intervention to Restore Order https://t.co/2RCFe8PfhR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 1, 2021
A Twitter account user operating under the moniker “Stalincrack” has spoken of the problems in the 19th district for over a year, according to Le Figaro, while some have warned that residents are “radicalising”.
“Dialogue with these people is no longer possible,” the person behind the Stalincrack account told the newspaper.
They added: “But we can’t throw stones at them. From our living rooms, we see people being stabbed, assaulted, shouted at… The inhabitants have reached a point of no return. Now we anticipate that dealers will organise their response, and it could go far. Parisians are going to discover urban guerrilla warfare.”
Mayor of the 19th district, François Dagnaud, admitted the area faces serious problems and that while he understood the frustration of those firing mortar fireworks at dealers and addicts, he said the incidents were a “dangerous expression of a feeling of revolt”.
Similarly, residents of the 17th district of Paris stated earlier this year that they were prepared to take security measures into their own hands if the police and government refused to deal with the growing levels of urban insecurity in their area.
Paris Residents Threaten Vigilante Justice Amid Rising Criminality https://t.co/YQPuptywTN
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 16, 2021
The northern Paris area is not the only region of France to see multiple-day long incidents of urban violence in recent days.
In the commune of Romans-sur-Isère in the southeast of France, police and firefighters were attacked on Sunday in the fifth consecutive day of urban violence after local youths had set garbage bins on fire, according to Le Dauphiné Libéré.
Growing levels of urban violence across the country led to the publication of a letter by 20 ex-French generals and 1,000 other former and active-duty military personnel that called on the government of President Emmanuel Macron to solve the issue or face possible military intervention.
Left-wing politicians criticised the letter, with some going as far as saying the signatories were threatening a military coup. However, a poll released last week revealed that nearly half of the French public would support the armed forces restoring order in France, even if they were not commanded to do so by the current government.