There's an interesting thing about the gorgeous town of Marseille, France, that I noticed while reporting from the old port.
From where we were standing, about a block in one direction was the court, yachts, fancy hotels and restaurants. Another block in another direction, the chamber of commerce; another, the opera house.
But just a couple of blocks in the other direction you get into what I would call slums. You can see the change in demographic and economic status immediately. The first thing you notice is that people don't speak much French, they speak Arabic or African languages. You'll notice a lot of the stores are Tunisian, Algeria, Moroccan, Afghan or Turkish.
You can see a lot of women wearing traditional Muslim clothing in the same places you have modern French women dressed in the latest styles showing skin.
But what's interesting is the cops. There were actually a few standing just behind us when we recorded our video — most of them are ethnically French white cops.
The recent riots in France started following the death of 17 year old of Algerian and Moroccan descent following an incident with police. Most of the people who are rioting are North African or black. I can see how there's a barrier to interacting with the police, and perhaps how you see them as unapproachable or as not just a legal enemy, but an ethnic enemy, a political enemy.
While many of these rioters are Muslim, the people here say on the face of it that this is a response to a police shooting, that the police pick on them. I don't have factual reasons to doubt that — my quarrel is that it doesn't help anyone or anything to torch a business and beat up innocent people.
In closing, I wanted to share a video published not by Rebel News but by a Polish government official, an ally of France, showing the riots in Paris compared to the peaceful calm in Warsaw.
We'll have more soon from France. You can follow along with our coverage and support our work at FranceOnFire.com.