Calm returned Friday to the sensitive neighborhood of Vert-Bois in Saint-Dizier (Haute-Marne), the day after violent acts committed by forty to fifty hooded youths against police and firefighters.
A first report attests to “two persons lightly wounded: a police officer suffered cuts caused by shattered glass and a firefighter was hit in the arm with by a lead pipe”, Guillaume Audebaud, director of the cabinet of the prefect of Haute-Marne. Elsewhere, "16 vehicles were burned, 19 others damaged by blows from baseball bats or metal bars."
“No arrests have taken place. The 30 or 40 youths acted very quickly and priority was given to protect people and property”, M. Audebaud added. CRS [riot police] reinforcements arrived from Reims (Marne) for a few days, and minister of the interior Michèle Alliot-Marie arrived on the scene mid-day.
Cautious about causes for the violence, which she condemned, the minister judged [it] “important to put all the people around a table so that each could express their point of view. Security is not the responsibility of a single individual. Responsibility is a chain which includes everyone”, she said, citing education, the municipalities, associations, police, fire department and justice.
“All must be [brought] together to discuss this between themselves. There are occasionally a certain number of things, solutions that deserve to be heard”, or “to be experimented with”, she added, without clarifying.
Thursday night, 40 or 50 hooded youths attacked two police and firefighter vehicles that were intevening to put out a fire in the Vert-Bois neighborhood. In breaking windshields and windows of the vehicles and threatening the few police and firefighters on site, the hooded youths made them flee.
They [the "youths"] then set sixteen vehicles in the neighborhood ablaze, overturned others and committed other acts of destruction. Notably, they set fire to the Vert-Bois House for youth and culture, after having vandalized it, breaking doors and windows. …
While authorities assured they were “actively” searching for them, two young men
suspected of insulting and assaulting Marine Le Pen chose to defend themselves... before the cameras of France 3 Nord Pas-de-Calais.
They appeared blurred out in a report broadcast Tuesday over France 3, in the office of their lawyer, defending themselves from having used a gun during the
altercation with the frontist candidate, on [Saturday] Sept 22 in Hénin-Beaumont.
The interview had taken place on Friday Sept 28. ...
M. Wallerand de Saint Just, lawyer for Marine Le Pen, said he was “surprised” before so much complacency on the part of the journalists, who, “in providing a voice for these two youths, topple Mme Le Pen from a status of victim to a status of aggressor.” “My client’s version of events is publicly put in doubt. These people parade through the city, on television while they should be being arrested, this is a first” the lawyer said, stunned. And he added, ironically: “If the journalists could find them, one may suppose that the police with succeed in doing so as well…”
“(0:38)…we went to have a coffee, we crossed paths with Marine Le Pen, but more so with her bodyguards and entourage. There was heat, insults, but nothing like what she was suggesting. Well, eventually there were words of profanity, and gross insults a bit too vulgar, but otherwise we said what we wanted to say in a manner of expression, in the manner in which we express ourselves, so, there you are, nothing more than that.”