List of incidents of civil unrest in France

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This is a list of incidents of civil unrest in France. Civil unrest can include, rioting, strikes, violent labor disputes, or minor insurrections.

13th century[edit]

16th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

  • 1775 – Flour War, a wave of riots in April to May 1775, that followed an increase in grain and bread prices, because police withheld grain from the royal stores in addition to poor harvests.
  • 1789–99 – French Revolution, a revolution that overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, experienced violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship by Napoleon that forcibly brought many of its ideals to Western Europe

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

  • 1910–11 – Champagne Riots, resulted from a series of problems faced by grape growers in the Champagne area of France.
  • 1921 – Violence that broke out at the premiere of the play The Gas Heart.
  • 1926 – Bloody Sunday, political clashes that occurred in Colmar, Alsace on August 22, 1926.
  • 1947 – 1947 strikes in France, a series of insurrectional strikes
  • 1968 – May 1968 events in France, a volatile period of civil unrest that was punctuated by demonstrations and massive general strikes as well as the occupation of universities and factories across France.
  • 1981 – Rodéo (riot), riots that consisted of stealing cars, driving them in tight circles, and ultimately burning them
  • 1991 – Violence broke out in Sartrouville after the fatal shooting of an Arab teenager by a supermarket security guard.[1]
  • 1991 – Rioting occurred in Mantes-la-Jolie after a policewoman and an Algerian man were killed.[2]
  • 1997 – Rioting occurred in Dammarie-lès-Lys after 16-year-old Abdelkadher Bouziane was shot and killed by police and his 19-year-old friend wounded.[3]
  • 1998 – Two days of riots occurred in suburban Toulouse after 17-year-old Habib Muhammed was shot by police during a car theft.[4]

21st century[edit]

  • 2005 – 2005 French riots, a series of riots that occurred in the suburbs of Paris and other French cities involving the burning of cars and public buildings at night.
  • 2006 – 2006 youth protests in France, riots resulting from opposition to a measure set to deregulate labour in France.
  • 2007 – 2007 Villiers-le-Bel riots, riots in the Val-d'Oise department that began following the deaths of two teenagers whose motorcycle collided with a police vehicle.
  • 2007–09 – 2007–09 university protests in France, protest movements resulting from several reform projects under Minister for Higher Education and Research Valérie Pécresse.
  • 2009 – 2009 French riots, a series of riots that occurred on Bastille Day (14 July) in the commune of Montreuil, an eastern suburb area of Paris.
  • 2013 – 2013 Trappes riots, riots that broke out after police arrested a man who assaulted a police officer who tried to check the identity of his wife wearing a Muslim veil
  • 2014 – 2014 Sarcelles riots, a pro-Palestinian protest against the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza degenerated into an antisemitic riot in Sarcelles, France.
  • 2016 - 2016 French taxi driver strike, a strike by taxi drivers in several major cities against Uber, a transportation network company, included many road blockades, fires, overturned vehicles, and the blockade of roads leading to the two major airports in Paris.[5]
  • 2016 - Nuit debout, protests that grew out of opposition to proposed labor reforms.
  • 2017 - Protests started following accusations a police officer anally raped a young black man with a baton.[6] Anti-police protests continued well into March 2017 when migrants were met with resistance from Paris residents.
  • 2017 - During May Day protests in Paris, a group of about 150[7] hooded demonstrators disrupted the march, throwing "Molotov cocktails, firebombs and other objects at the police near Place de la Bastille."[8] These "violent protesters, who did not carry any union or election paraphernalia, appeared to be from the same fringe groups that have targeted anti-government protests in the past."[8] Riot police responded with batons and tear gas.[8] Six police officers were injured, two of them seriously, by petrol bombs.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phillips, John. "Youth of Paris suburbs rampage again". UPI. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Riot Police Sent to Paris Suburbs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  3. ^ Pivois, Marce (20 December 2017). "Deux jeunes abattus par la police en deux jours. Soirées de violence à Dammarie-les-Lys. Mercredi, un jeune a été victime des balles d'un policier". (in French). Libération. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  4. ^ Finn, Gary (December 15, 1998). "Second day of Toulouse riots over killing". The Independent. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  5. ^ "One in five flights cancelled as France hit by aviation, taxi strikes". France 24. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "May Day in France: Six officers injured in riots". Ten Network Holdings. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c "May Day violence breaks out in Paris; demonstrations around the world". Associated Press. May 1, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Riot officers injured after petrol bombs thrown in Paris clashes". ITV. May 1, 2017.