Skip to content

Nuit Debout inspires protests across Europe

The Council of Canadians supports the “Nuit Debout” movement.

The social movement has been compared to Occupy Wall Street and Spain’s Indignados.

#NuitDebout (variously translated as “rise up at night”, “night on our feet” and “up all night”) began in Paris on March 31 with a twilight sit-in after a demonstration against President François Hollande’s proposed changes to labour laws that would weaken protections for workers. ROAR magazine notes, “The #NuitDebout movement took root from a simple question … ‘how do we scare them?’ During a public debate at the Trade Union Center, a thousand people responded in unison: ‘after the protests, we’re not going home, let’s spend the night on our feet!'”

The Guardian reports, “Participants have since held debates in the public spaces on everything from the dominance of Google to tax evasion or inequality on housing estates and have focussed on the recent Panama Papers revelations.”

A statement issued by #NuitDebout on April 8 says, “Our mobilisation was initially aimed at protesting against the French Labour Law. This reform is not an isolated case, since it comes as a new piece in the austerity measures which already affected our European neighbours and which will have the same effects as the Italian Job Acts or the Reforma Laboral in Spain. This concretely means more layoffs, more precarity, growing inequalities and the shaping of private interests. …The debates taking place in the assemblies on Republic square prove that the general exasperation goes way beyond the Labour Law and opens a more global issue: the reconsideration of a social and political system stuck into a deep crisis and on its way out.”

ROAR highlights, “On its tenth day, the Nuit Debout protests have spread to dozens of cities in France as well as several in Britain, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy.” Autonomies.org says it has expanded to 40 cities in France and to Brussels, Berlin, Valencia and Lisbon.

This morning, Euronews reports, “Security forces moved in early on Monday to clear the nocturnal sit-in, meeting no resistance from those taking part – perhaps because they were planning to return later to resume the so-called ‘Nuit Debout’ movement…”

#NuitDebout has previously stated, “This movement was not born and will not die in Paris. From the Arab Spring to the 15M Movement, from Tahrir Square to Gezi park, Republic square and the plenty of other places occupied tonight in France are depicting the same angers, the same hopes and the same conviction: the need for a new society, where Democracy, Dignity and Liberty would not be hollow shells.”

The “global” Nuit Debout Facebook page is here, and the “Nuit Debout Montréal” Facebook page can be found here.