Khudair Abbas Al-Dahliki – A researcher specializing in European far-right parties.
This paper examines the crisis of protests that engulfed most French cities following the killing of the Algerian youth “Nael Al-Murzouqi” at the hands of a French police officer. It discusses the measures taken toward the protesters, the positions of political parties, and the consequences of violence and rioting. It also explores the deteriorating conditions of immigrants’ suburbs and their susceptibility to violence. These recent protests and violent incidents pose a significant challenge to President Emmanuel Macron, as he faces the need to maintain the state’s authority and uphold public order while addressing the grievances of marginalized youth.
The European Union previously predicted that social unrest following pension system reforms could impact economic activity in the first half of this year. However, the current situation remains challenging, with inflation still high in France, and violent protests continuing in the second half of the year, potentially taking a toll on the country’s economy. These acts of violence and protests are expected to have political repercussions, as parties from the far right to the far left seek to exploit the crisis to gain support and influence the elections.
1. Causes of Protests and Riots
The protests began on June 27, 2023, after the killing of a young man of Algerian origin named “Nael Al-Murzouqi.” He was shot by the police when they stopped him while he was driving a rented car and bypassed a checkpoint. This incident led to widespread and violent protests in Paris, several cities, and suburbs in France, with thousands of demonstrators expressing their opposition to police violence. Social media users shared videos showing the young man, Nael, attempting to evade the police barrier and getting shot at close range, resulting in a fatal car crash. The incident triggered a wave of protests in the suburb of Nanterre near Paris. Social media also circulated numerous videos of burning facilities and cars and protesters engaging in looting and violence on the streets, including a video showing a display of weapons after the looting of a weapons store in Marseille. Additionally, there were reports of protesters raiding and looting well-known brand stores.