D.C. and Paris Riots show long-established Western Tradition

As predicted, or more accurately, threatened by Ségolène Royal, there is violence in the wake of Nicolas Sarkozy’s victory in the French presidential election. The riot and mayhem in the streets of Paris recalls past acts of destruction and outrage at the hands of losing partisans: from the 1996 brawls in Washington, DC, by Dole supporters; to the destructive spree of angry Tories in the City of London in 1997; to the recent smashing of shop-windows by Republicans on 8 November 2006; and yes, to the violence visited upon the hapless City of Light by RPR youth in the aftermath of Mitterand’s 1988 victory in France. The present wreckage on French streets — see an excellent series of photos here — is therefore of a piece with long-established Western tradition.

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