On constantly mishearing ‘rioting’ as ‘writing’ on the BBC
There has been writing for 10 days now
unabated. People are anxious, fed up.
There is writing in Paris, in disaffected suburbs,
but also in small towns, and old ones like Lyon.
The writers have been burning cars; they’ve thrown
homemade Molotov cocktails at policemen.
Contrary to initial reports, the writers belong to several communities: Algerian
and Caribbean, certainly, but also Romanian,
Polish, and even French. Some are incredibly
young: the youngest is 13.
They stand edgily on street corners, hardly
looking at each other. Longstanding neglect
and an absence of both authority and employment
have led to what are now 10 nights of writing.