The curfew law that has been invoked in France was drafted during the Algerian war of independence from Paris in the 1950s. But because of that link, many observers warn that the government is on dangerous ground. The opposition socialists say the use of the law is not the best solution for fighting unrest among young people of mostly North African Arab origin.
“Sarkozy won’t get his way like that,” said one man who lives in the suburbs of Paris. “How can he make people stay home and sleep. I don’t think it’s going to work.” “It’s a good idea if it’s going to stop all of this,” said another resident of the suburbs. “It really is starting to become like a war in the city. And the children have nothing to do with it. I don’t see why they have to burn the schools.” Under the current state of emergency, authorities will have the power to impose curfews and carry out searches until November 20.