Monday, August 2, 2010

French Police Forcibly Break Up Demonstration -- Global Immigration Debate Boils Ever Hotter

In the Paris suburb of La Corneuve on Monday, police forcibly evicted a group of mostly African immigrant squatters who were protesting the demolition of the building where they lived. French online newsgroup Mediapart posted the above video of the chaos. Note: this video contains scenes of physical and emotional duress that may shock viewers.

Reports following the event varied wildly. Police from the local Seine-Saint-Denis precinct released a statement claiming the eviction was carried out in "relatively good conditions," reports CBS News' World Watch department. But local Socialist Party official Stéphane Troussel chose far more damning words.

"Faced with his failure in the suburbs, it is tempting for [French President] Nicolas Sarkozy and his government to abandon working-class neighborhoods or to try and rein them in through showy and highly publicized security operations," he said to news channel Somalia24.

The Corneuve eviction comes at a time of high-heat global immigration polemics, from the debate on Turkish accession into the EU to the highly controversial Arizona law that would seem to legalize racial profiling against Hispanic-looking people in the US. Tensions continue to mount, as the no. 2 Senate Republican, Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) calls for no less than a repeal of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees American citizenship to all those born in the US -- regardless of citizenship status of the newborn's parents.

1:40PM -- This just in: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli OKs immigration status checks by police in his state (and my home state)... Will VA become a de facto Arizona on the immigration question? AND: The Huffingon Post puts up this editorial riff on anti-mosque sentiment in America. Reminds me of my piece on the minaret construction row in Switzerland from

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