France’s mayors called on the public and elected officials on Monday to hold rallies opposing nearly a week of violent protests, even as the first signs emerged that the unrest was beginning to ease.
The government has battled riots and looting since 17-year-old Nahel M. was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop on Tuesday, reviving longstanding accusations of racism against the French police force.
During a sixth consecutive night of rioting, a fireman died while seeking to douse burning vehicles north of Paris but there was no immediate indication of a connection with the violent protests, the interior ministry said.
The call for a “mobilisation of citizens for a return to republican order” came after the home of the mayor of a Paris suburb was rammed with a flaming car, prompting widespread outrage.
In a statement, an association of the country’s mayors noted that areas “everywhere in France are the scene of serious unrest, which targets republican symbols with extreme violence”.