NuitDebout! What is it?

  • A movement. A citizen movement that started the 31st March (and still going on) after a suggestion made at a debate evening the 23rd February around the Merci Patron ! (Thank you boss!) film.
  • A revolt. The French government is widely and deeply criticised by French people for its different ways of doing and “reforms”. The main protest that’s crystallising all the critics was formed around the new labour law bill (also called “El-Khomri law”, name of the Law Minister, Myriam El Khomri). But the Nuit Debout critics are far much wider than this law, it’s about every current aspect of the modern life: against the freedom-kill policies (a lot of law passed under this government against Internet freedom, state of emergency, possibility (and actually often obligation for public image of the government) to arrest demonstrators, creation of notes on every demonstrators by police forces, …), universal wages, police violence (really important, especially since the beginning of the movement against the labour law bill), global warming, capitalism, …
  • Autonomous and without leader movement. As Occupy Wall Street or Indignados movements, there is no decider head team. Debate subjects are voted, everyone can talk and suggest ideas, action. Nuit Debout started the 31st March on the Place de la République (Republic Square) in Paris but the movement has spread through many cities. People come when they want and if they want, without any demand.
Photo by Olivier Ortelpa

Photo by Olivier Ortelpa

What actions?

  • Occupying. Since the 31st of March and though the interdiction of public meeting (because of the so comfortable “state of emergency”), the movement is authorised to occupy different landmark squares.
  • Debates. The first aim of Nuit Debout, except trying to change the French government, is to offer the possibility to think, together, a new society. Debates are used to let everyone speaking, suggesting new ideas, finding solutions to French problems but also word’s, for example the question of the refugees, genders equality and thinking about the next presidential elections, in April-May 2017.  Some actions emerged also as the creation of a participating amateur orchestra (which interpreted the New World Symphony).
  • Social Networks. Nuit Debout movements are spreading news and ideas through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube channel, mixlr (radio), websites (here and here), periscope, … and through traditional media (but as main medias are torn between their own financial lines and government shadow, it’s mainly sensationalism)
Photo by Loic Venance_AFP-GettyImages

Photo by Loic Venance_AFP-GettyImages

Public opinion

  • The movement is well received by French people.
  • Every politicians are trying to stop the movement, calling it dangerous, not secure in these times of “state emergency” or muppeted by unions or far left politic parties. The main tool used by every politicians is the “brokers”, these people, around the demonstrations or Nuit Debout actions and without taking part of them, only here to destroy, if the occasion is present. A number of destructions were made after the demonstrations, excellent occasion to show that these demonstrators movements are “insecure” and “have to be stopped”. This message is broadcasting by every traditional media, that influences some people in the public opinion.
Photo by Ian Langsdon-EPA

Photo by Ian Langsdon-EPA

“Fun” fact

The movement has created its own calendar (as the 18th century French Revolution did but clearly easier!). The movement has only one month, March, and days built on since the 31st. So, for example, the Sunday 22nd May is the Sunday 83rd March.

Photo by Philippe Huguen-AFP-GettyImages

Photo by Philippe Huguen-AFP-GettyImages

Photo by Olivier Ortelpa

Photo by Olivier Ortelpa

 

Helene Herniou

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