In the wake of the Clichy riot the head of the state police in Nice wrote an exasperated report on the reaction of niçois political groups to the violence. On the right, parties such as the PSF and the PPF were growing increasingly frustrated at the continual harassment of their meetings. ‘They affirm’, the report noted, ‘that they are the partisans of order’, yet they were nonetheless ‘ready to defend themselves vigorously when attacked.’ The report continued, ‘it is without doubt that they are individually armed like […] their political opponents’. As for the left, the author noted murmurings in the radical and socialist parties about the seriousness of political violence in France: given that it now seemed impossible to state one’s opinion without drawing a violent response, had the country lost its taste for republican freedom?...
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