The young rioters who have wreaked havoc in suburban France over the past fortnight might feel like they do not belong, but for some observers, their violent protests against social exclusion are almost the French norm. 'It's very French to use such a show of force to revolt against the system,' says Parisian engineer Pierre de Bonnechose. 'Truck drivers, teachers, farmers, pressure groups of all kinds take the law into their hands and impose their willpower. 'After that they are in a position of force to negotiate and end up getting what they want ... the government always cedes to them.' Starting with the French Revolution, violent uprisings and forceful protests are common in France and have become increasingly uncivil over the years. Sociologist Michel Wieviorka sees contemporary French society frequently marked by 'revolutionary thrusts and insurrectionary strikes', not just during the current urban violence. The media's cries about 'delinquent burners', 'revolts', 'crisis', 'fury', 'the rage of the rioters' and 'rioting demonstrators' echo those heard during guerilla-like campaigns, led by radical farmers' unions, setting McDonald's aflame to protest against subsidies. 'It's hardly new - people like to bend others to their wishes by using fear tactics,' wrote one commentator, Zelig, in a forum in the current affairs magazine L'Express. Laurent Mucchielli, from the National Centre for Scientific Research, says while the rioters should not be excused, they have been trying to express and assert themselves in a way so typical of French culture and political life for two decades. 'They have a need to be recognised and for dignity, which French society has not responded to other than with fear and stigmatisation - today of Islam,' he said. Social researcher Manuel Boucher also sees a French tradition in rising up against 'repression, discrimination, segregation and misery'. Far from being demonised, he said, 'the troublemakers are expressing in an aggressive manner untenable things which they experience on a daily level. And if their anger manifests itself with these riots, these burned cars, it's because the feeling of repression has gained the upper hand,' he told the communist daily newspaper L'Humanite.