France Protests: Macron Cancels State Visit to Germany Amid Unrest at Home

President Emmanuel Macron of France on Saturday postponed a scheduled state visit to Germany as his government struggled to rein in violent protests over the deadly police shooting of a 17-year-old this past week.

Although the Interior Ministry described the violence overnight on Friday as being of “lower intensity” than the previous night, more than 1,300 people were arrested as the turmoil continued to grip major cities like Marseille and Lyon. Hundreds of cars have been set on fire, buildings have been damaged, and stores in some cities have been looted since the protests erupted over the teenager’s death on Tuesday.

Many protesters have identified with the teenager, who has been named only as Nahel M. and who was of Algerian and Moroccan descent. Anger over the shooting is rooted in decades-long complaints about police violence and persistent feelings of neglect and racial discrimination in France’s poorer urban suburbs.

A funeral was held for Nahel on Saturday in Nanterre, the suburb outside Paris where he lived and where a police officer killed him during a traffic stop.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been detained while being investigated on a charge of voluntary homicide, a rare move that has angered police unions, who said it ignored the presumption of innocence. They have also denounced the violent protests set off by the shooting, with the largest of the unions referring to those who have taken to the streets as “savage hordes.”

The authorities have intensified their efforts to quell the violence, sending police reinforcements and shutting down late-night public transportation services. Some cities have started enforcing overnight curfews.

Over 45,000 officers, along with armored vehicles and specialty police units, were mobilized on Friday evening to clamp down on the riots, and the Interior Ministry ordered a shutdown of bus and tram services. The police reported the arrests of 1,311 people overnight, and the Interior Ministry said that 79 officers had been injured.

Pressure has mounted on Mr. Macron to prevent the tensions from worsening. He had been scheduled to go to Germany from Sunday until Tuesday, the first state visit by a French president in 23 years. Instead, the French leader’s office said on Saturday that he “wished to remain in France over the next few days.” Earlier in the week, Mr. Macron left a European Union summit in Brussels early, a rare step, to attend a crisis meeting in Paris about the unrest.

The postponement of his Germany trip is not the first time a domestic crisis has interfered with Mr. Macron’s diplomatic calendar this year — a planned visit to France by King Charles III of Britain in March was also postponed amid protests against the French leader’s pension overhaul plan.

On Saturday, several cities continued to restrict public transportation, and public events that were expected to draw crowds were canceled, including a Pride celebration in Marseille, a concert by the singer Mylène Farmer at the Stade de France outside Paris and an evening festival in Lyon.

In the southern city of Marseille, the authorities said they would deploy more resources on Saturday, including a “massive reinforcement” of riot police officers and two helicopters, after protesters set fires and looted stores overnight. The police arrested nearly 90 people there, and the city’s mayor, Benoît Payan, condemned the “acts of vandalism.”

In the eastern city of Lyon, the police said that 58 people had been arrested and that some officers had been targeted with pellet shots.

Bruno Le Maire, the French economy minister, said on Saturday that at least a dozen malls, 250 bank branches and over 200 stores had been attacked over the past few days, some of them burned and destroyed.

“These acts are inexcusable,” Mr. Le Maire said after a meeting with trade and business representatives, whom he said had shown “a lot of emotion, a lot of disarray, a lot of worries.” Insurance companies, he said, had been asked to pay out quickly to help them recover their footing.

The clashes have also reached overseas French territories, including French Guiana, where officials said that a government worker had been killed by a stray bullet during a violent protest in the South American territory.

On Friday night, France’s national soccer team — many of whom are from working-class neighborhoods — called “the brutal death” of Nahel “unacceptable” but urged those participating in the violence to stop.

In a statement shared by Kylian Mbappé, the team’s captain, the players said that they shared the feelings of anger and sadness. But, they said, “Violence solves nothing,” adding that those contributing to the destruction were hurting their own neighborhoods, cities and “places of fulfillment.”

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