Fausta's blog

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The official blog of Fausta's Blog Talk Radio show.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

In a French train,
a scene worthy of a Charles Bronson movie:

Last evening’s France2 newscast spent the first six minutes of the broadcast discussing an incident that occurred on New Year’s day on a train from Nice to Lyon. The incident was mentioned in a short paragraph in thisBBC News article that I linked to on last Tuesday,
However, New Year's day saw between 20 and 40 teenagers, many of Arab or north African origin, go on the rampage on a train between Nice and Lyon, intimidating and robbing passengers, and allegedly sexually assaulting at least one young woman.
¡No Pasarán! has more, especially by commenter Malaventura
I did not write a report as if I was on the train, I quoted the report of France 2 in French and sent that quote to Eric Svane, together with some comments of mine. What I additionally reported was that I have been on the station of Les Arcs two and a half hours (as I now know more precisely) after that "train de fete" had left again. The French said that there was a "massive police deployment". Have you ever been to the site of such a massive deployment two hours+ after it took place? Right. It's easy to spot. They say that they had used three divisions there. That's about 360 troops. You don't bring 360 officers into one tiny train station, let them fight, and 150 minutes later, nobody realizes anything anymore, except if you really really want that.

The train stood still in Les Arcs for 1 1/2 hours BEFORE the police arrived. - Before? Not quite. The police was at the station even prior to the train. They had been talking to the guard via cellphone, that heroic guard who had made usage of his "droit de retrait" because he felt that the safety of the passengers (and not the passengers of one waggon only) could not be guaranteed any longer, and they all agreed to stop the train in Les Arcs.

Why in Les Arcs? Easy: Because there's the only post of the Gendarmerie Nationale after Nice, a slow two minutes walk from the station, even if you're half drunk on January 1st early in the morning. And if you know the Gendarmes, you also know that they are bristled with weapons and tough to the bone, well, as far as French officers have bones. They are not police. They are Feds. But the officers, three of them, stayed inside the station's building. The reason? The railway agency SNCF had not yet officially made a report. That's what they say. Officially. So for 1 1/2 hours, the Arabs in the train rioted - and not, as Bof speculated, in one waggon, but throughout the whole damn train - while the passengers locked themselves in into the compartments (question aside: why did they not open the security windows, which is easy to do, and run away? because they were so totally paralyzed by the senseless hope that help would come from nowhere but the outside) and stared at the station building, waiting for help, while the officers, i.e. the government, sat in that buiding and waited for official papers.
More at his blog (in German) where he points out that two of the three detainees are illegal aliens from Morocco.

The NYT has more details:
The episode was on a day that the state rail system offered a special low fare. The youths came from the Marseille area and had traveled to Nice and other seaside resorts for New Year's Eve. As they returned early on Jan. 1, heading toward Lyon, the reveling turned into something more raucous.
Inside the train, which was carrying 600 people, they broke windows, snatched mobile telephones, slashed seats and sexually assaulted a young woman, the police said. Train personnel called for help and stopped service, but the police delayed boarding the train for more than an hour to wait for reinforcements.
"It was a real scene of pillage," the regional state prosecutor, Dominique Luiggi, said.
When the train resumed service, with the police on board, the youths pulled an emergency stop to escape by running along the tracks. Ultimately three people were arrested for robbery with one facing additional charges of sexual assault.
Could it happen here? Yes. If it did, would it happen differently? Probably. I do not know of any incidents in this country where a train with 600 people has been terrorized by 20 punks, even in the days of subway mayhem and the Bernard Goetz trial.

Which reminds me, back in the days when I commuted into NY city, I knew of at least two passengers who legally carried firearms to work.

Would an incident such last for hours here without the police intervening? Very unlikely.

Update Via Michelle Malkin, The French Train Rampage You Haven't Heard About.
Night Train to Moonbattery.
30 Youths Of Indeterminate Ethnic Extraction Terrorize & Rape On French Train
Update 2 More at The Washington Times, and LGF
Update, December 6 "The problem is that law-enforcement services didn't know that there was a promotional fare going." Via Camp Katrina,
Night Train to Marseille, and Blame the Train Company

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