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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

WATCH: French protesters loot a VW dealership in Marseille

Often when people loot during protests, they’ll steal petty things at supermarkets. French protesters have taken it up a notch.

While South Africans looted caskets, fridges and stupendous amounts of liquor when the July 2021 unrest took place, the French have taken it to another level as protesters in Marseille looted a VW dealership, driving away in brand new cars.


France has been rocked by a wave of protests after 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk was shot by police near Paris on Tuesday, sparking a ban on demonstrations in some cities, travel warnings and reigniting a debate on over-policing in marginalised communities.

According to The Guardian, at least 45 000 officers were deployed to Paris, Marseille, Lyon, and elsewhere on Saturday ahead of what was expected to be a fifth night of unrest. Thirty-seven people were arrested in Paris and 22 people in Marseille on Saturday evening.


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First world vs third world debate

The car theft video has sparked a debate on the views of first world citizens versus third world citizens. Whenever riots, similar to what’s happening in France, occur in a third world country like South Africa, it isn’t viewed in the same way it’s being seen in France.

Riots and protests in third world countries are seen as barbaric issues, but there’s a more diplomatic stance when they happen in Western countries.

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Some people are seeing the funny side of the cars being stolen. One person joked on Twitter with an Oprah Winfrey meme of when she often gave gifts to her audience.

Others criticised the protesters for doing crime in the name of defending the honour of Merzouk. Just like most protests that begin with good intentions of getting a message across, the protests in France have been overtaken by opportunistic hooligans.

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