RTWT."Remember the riots?" The young man in a leather jacket was scribbling hurriedly on a wall in a housing project in this working-class suburb north of Paris: "This time the thugs vote!"
French, black and 21 years old, he has been waiting for next month's presidential election for nearly a year and a half. So have his friends. Ever since October 2005, when Nicolas Sarkozy, the front-runner in this campaign, came to Argenteuil as interior minister and vowed to rid the town of "thugs."
The next month, November, a wave of unrest swept many of France's suburbs. When the trouble died down, the four friends say, they went to their town hall and, for the first time, registered to vote.
"France may have forgotten, but the suburbs haven't," said the graffiti writer, who was born in France of Camerounian parents and identified himself only as Youssef. "All this is fresh in our memory."
In the heat of the moment - in the autumn of 2005, when, night after night, cars burned and youths clashed with the police - the desperate problems of the suburbs seemed poised to dominate the presidential campaign. But they are conspicuously absent from the public debate, often ranking at the bottom of voters' concerns in opinion polls.
The shadow of 2005, however, looms large. Voter registration has surged in the neighborhoods where rioting took place and elsewhere in the country. The key campaign issues - unemployment, poverty and the quest for national identity - were at the heart of the extraordinary explosion in the suburbs.
Sarkozy's tough response to the rioting endeared him to far-right voters while earning him the hatred of many citizens of foreign origin and hardening his image in the population at large, especially among young people.
... "If he comes back, there will be rioting again," said Tagmi, who did not vote in 2002 and plans to vote for Bayrou this time. "He insulted the kids in the neighborhood and they are in no mood for good will."
Dislike of Sarkozy is not limited to the younger generation. "Tout Sauf Sarkozy" (Anyone but Sarkozy) is the motto for many in this suburb. One, Amar Benoun, 60, who heads a nongovernmental association here, has been knocking on doors to encourage residents to punish Sarkozy at the ballot box.
"The electoral weight of the suburbs is increasing," said Faouzi Lamdaoui, a Socialist running for Parliament, as he handed out pamphlets outside a local supermarket. "There is a real awareness after the riots that the only way you can change things is to vote. That is new. There will be a real difference between 2002 and 2007."
The number of registered voters has increased this year in suburbs across France, preliminary figures from city halls indicate. In Argenteuil, 5,000 new voters signed on, increasing the local electorate by more than 10 percent, to 50,000, according to the mayor's office.
[NOTE: THE ISLAMO-THUGS WILL VOTE FOR BAYROU OR THE SOCIALIST ROYAL - ANYBODY BUT SARKO. WHICH IS JUST MORE PROOF SARKO IS EXACTLY WHAT FRANCE NEEDS - IF FRANCE IS TO REMAIN FRENCH, WESTERN, MODERN AND FREE.