The Checkered History of France’s Bastille Day Parade
Updated July 8, 2023 12:03 am ET
Last weekend, tanks rumbled along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris past viewing stands erected in advance of Bastille Day, France’s national holiday. The tanks weren’t rehearse for the traditional July 14 military parade from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. Instead, they were deployed to suppress riots involving thousands of young people, mostly of North African descent, fueled by the police killing of an unarmed teenager in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. Next week’s official celebration of nationhood will be haunted by the protests of citizens who feel scorned by the nation they were born in.
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