Multiple likely well-planned Friday night attacks in Paris had a disturbing aroma to them – including France’s knee-jerk police state reaction. Here’s what happened.
At least seven apparently well-coordinated attacks occurred, gunmen with automatic weapons and suicide belts killing over 150 victims. Many others were injured. Stade de France stadium was struck during a football (soccer) match between France and Germany.
So was the Bataclan theater during a concert, restaurants full of patrons, a cinema, and pedestrians on Bichat Street, the Avenue de la Republique and Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Reports indicated other Paris locations were attacked, including the Forum des Halles shopping area attracting an estimated 150,000 daily visitors.
The predictable aftermath so far includes French President Francois Hollande declaring a state of emergency – effectively suspending constitutional rights under martial law.
“Two decisions will be taken,” Hollande announced. “The state of emergency will be decreed, which means several places will be closed off, and traffic will be limited in certain areas.”
The state of emergency will apply across the country. The second decision I have taken is to close the borders, so that the people who have committed these crimes can be apprehended.
We know where this attack came from. We must show compassion and solidarity, but we must also show we are united. There is much to fear, but we must face these fears as a nation that knows how to muster its forces and will confront the terrorists.
Heavily armed French soldiers were deployed around key Parisian locations. Five metro lines were shut. Orly airport flights were suspended. All city schools and universities were closed.
De facto martial law legitimizes repressive police state powers. Constitutional protections are suspended. Following the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a no-fly zone was ordered over a 3.5 mile radius of the incident.
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