The State Department issued a Level 2 warning for France as well, citing terrorist activity and civil unrest. The warning adds that dangerous activity could occur in public transit hubs, religious centers, markets, shopping malls, cultural events, airports, schools, clubs, restaurants and other public locations.
In the midst of Mahsa Amini’s murder by the Iranian government, Paris has seen increased civil unrest and protests, which are forecast to continue in the coming weeks, according to USA Today. In direct contrast to Iran’s hijab requirement, France has a hijab ban.
This ban has incited protests among French citizens and contributes to the passion they feel in protesting Amini’s murder. The protests can become dangerous, however, and sometimes include property damage, looting and arson.
According to the State Department, police have responded with water canons, rubber bullets and tear gas, which can pose a danger to tourists. The U.S. embassy discourages official U.S. government travelers from traveling to Paris and major French cities on weekends.My question is why do terrorists like to create problems in France? Maybe they are still upset with deGaulle? Or maybe the lax borders of the EU? Or maybe the trouble makers are attracted by the cafes, wine, and food?
Fance, and Paris in particular, have changed in the 51 years since I first visited. It was not pleasant for Americans, or anyone of color to visit Paris. Out in the countryside, it was not as bad, perhaps because the Allied invasion during WW2 brought American soldiers of many colors (Asian and African Americans). A friend of mine who served in WW2 was “adopted” by a French family he helped liberate, even though as a Chinese-American, he had his parents and family back in San Francisco. I will always remember that story.
I am scheduled for a cycling trip in France next May. But it will not be in Paris. Should I or shouldn’t I? Similar to my decision to travel after 9-11, I decided I would not let any terrorists determine when and where I would go.