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France: Tired of being stifled people gather in vast nocturnal sit-ins to exercise free speech


They are driven to gather in the attraction to “the idea is to let everyone speak out.” Socialism is like Islam. It doesn’t allow free speech. It only pretends to. Should you have an opinion that differ to the socialist one, you are immediately demonized and aggressively, even violently, shut off and even osterized.

The French complain about “the state of emergency, the new surveillance laws, the changes to the justice system and the security crackdown.”

But if you bring to their attention that all of these measures have been enforced because the French leftists invited millions of Muslims to live with them, handed them free money, free access to education, free housing and equality – only to be spat in the face and be an object of their contempt and terrorism. If you tell them the problem is Muslims, their socialist ignorace and narrow mindedness quickly comes to surface and they would deny it. There is no other way to fight Islamic hatred than banning it, expelling it, deporting it and, unfortunately, monitoring it constantly.

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Nuit debout protesters occupy French cities in revolutionary call for change

For more than a week, vast nocturnal gatherings have spread across France in a citizen-led movement that has rattled the government

 

French masses gather to freely discuss their concerns in a land where pc rules - nuit debout

 

Vive la révolution: demonstrators gather in Place de la République for a nocturnal sit-in. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
Friday 8 April 2016, 17.31 BST

As night fell over Paris, thousands of people sat cross-legged in the vast square at Place de la République, taking turns to pass round a microphone and denounce everything from the dominance of Google to tax evasion or inequality on housing estates.

The debating continued into the early hours of the morning, with soup and sandwiches on hand in the canteen tent and a protest choir singing revolutionary songs. A handful of protesters in tents then bedded down to “occupy” the square for the night before being asked to move on by police just before dawn. But the next morning they returned to set up their protest camp again.

For more than a week, these vast nocturnal protest gatherings – from parents with babies to students, workers, artists and pensioners – have spread across France, rising in number, and are beginning to panic the government.

Called Nuit debout, which loosely means “rise up at night”, the protest movement is increasingly being likened to the Occupy initiative that mobilised hundreds of thousands of people in 2011 or Spain’s Indignados.

Cherifa, a French student at Paris’ Louis-le-Grand high school, who is taking part in the night-time protests. Photograph: Elliott Verdier/AFP/Getty Images

Despite France’s long history of youth protest movements – from May 1968 to vast rallies against pension changes – Nuit debout, which has spread to cities such as Toulouse, Lyon and Nantes and even over the border to Brussels, is seen as a new phenomenon.

It began on 31 March with a night-time sit-in in Paris after the latest street demonstrations by students and unions critical of President François Hollande’s proposed changes to labour laws. But the movement and its radical nocturnal action had been dreamed up months earlier at a Paris meeting of leftwing activists.

“There were about 300 or 400 of us at a public meeting in February and we were wondering how can we really scare the government?. We had an idea: at the next big street protest, we simply wouldn’t go home,” said Michel, 60, a former delivery driver.

Protesters debate issues such as national security, housing and proposed changes to French labour law. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

“On 31 March, at the time of the labour law protests, that’s what happened. There was torrential rain, but still everyone came back here to the square. Then at 9pm, the rain stopped and we stayed. We came back the next day and as we keep coming back every night, it has scared the government because it’s impossible to define.

“There’s something here that I’ve never seen before in France – all these people converge here each night of their own accord to talk and debate ideas – from housing to the universal wages, refugees, any topic they like. No one has told them to, no unions are pushing them on – they’re coming of their own accord.”

The idea emerged among activists linked to a leftwing revue and the team behind the hit documentary film Merci Patron!, which depicts a couple taking on France’s richest man, billionaire Bernard Arnault. But the movement gained its own momentum – not just because of the labour protests or in solidarity with the French Goodyear tyre plant workers who kidnapped their bosses in 2014. It has expanded to address a host of different grievances, including the state of emergency and security crackdown in response to last year’s terrorist attacks.

 

Students occupying an amphitheatre in Lille give a press conference to announce the start of the Nuit debout protests. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

“The labour law was the final straw,” said Matthiew, 35, who was retraining to be a teacher after 10 years in the private sector, and had set up an impromptu revolutionary singing group at the square. “But it’s much bigger than that. This government, which is supposed to be socialist, has come up with a raft of things I don’t agree with, while failing to deal with the real problems like unemployment, climate change and a society heading for disaster.”

Many in the crowd said that after four years of Hollande’s Socialist party in power, they left felt betrayed and their anger was beginning to bubble over.

Jocelyn, 26, a former medical student acting as a press spokesman for the movement, said: “There are parallels with Occupy and Indignados. The idea is to let everyone speak out. People are really sick and tired and that feeling has been building for years. Everything Hollande once promised for the left but gave up on really gets me down. Personally, it’s the state of emergency, the new surveillance laws, the changes to the justice system and the security crackdown.”

 

A protester holds a sign which reads ‘#Panama leaks, people, racketeering, that’s enough’ in Paris. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

The government and the Paris authorities are being cautious about the policing of the movement. An investigation is under way into the alleged assault by a police officer accused of hitting a student at a Paris high school last month during a demonstration against the labour overhaul.

The government is preparing possible concessions to students and youths to calm those expected to attend another such rally on Saturday.

Each night at Paris’s Place de la République, the “general assembly” begins at 6pm and the crowd discuss ideas. Hundreds of demonstrators communicate using coded hand gestures: wiggling their fingers above their heads to express agreement or crossing their wrists to disagree.

 

Michel, an artist who hopes to be a candidate in the 2017 French presidential elections, joins the protesters in Paris. Photograph: Elliott Verdier/AFP/Getty Images

Various committees have sprung up to debate a new constitution, society, work, and how to occupy the square with more permanent wooden structures on a nightly basis. Whiteboards list the evening’s discussions and activities – from debates on economics to media training for the demonstrators. “No hatred, no arms, no violence,” was the credo described by the “action committee”.

“This must be a perfect mini-society,” a member of the gardening committee told the crowd. A poetry committee has been set up to document and create the movement’s slogans. “Every movement needs its artistic and literary element,” said the poet who proposed it.

Demonstrators regularly help other protest movements, such as a bank picket over revelations in the Panama Papers or a demonstration against migrant evictions in the north of Paris.

“Generation revolution”, was scrawled on the pavement. The concept behind the movement is a “convergence of struggles” with no one leader. There are no union banners or flags of specific groups decorating the protest in the square – a rarity in France.

Cécile, 22, a Paris law student at Thursday night’s general assembly, said: “I don’t agree with the state society is in today. To me, politics feels broken. This movement appeals in terms of citizen action. I come here after class and I intend to keep coming back. I hope it lasts.”

10 thoughts on “France: Tired of being stifled people gather in vast nocturnal sit-ins to exercise free speech

  1. “This government, which is supposed to be socialist, has come up with a raft of things I don’t agree with, while failing to deal with the real problems like unemployment, climate change and a society heading for disaster.”

    Perhaps, just perhaps, that’s because communism never works.

    Other than Man Made Global Warming, which is irrelevant because the only climate constant is change, every single bit of what they’re complaining about are the sorts of things people like Trump want to fix. By fixing the real underlying issues.

    But they don’t want that, they want their fake socialist utopias that can never happen. That have never happened, they all turn inevitably to communism where the very people they’re complaining about not being ‘true socialists’ take over full control and then rule as the Party Elite, just like now. The only difference is if they did that in Red Square they’d then be erased from history and never heard from or of again.

    Like

  2. Did I read anyone complaining about the illegals or the approaching the fall of France to the mosques? No!! I did not. these are just leftist loonies doing what the left do best: distracting the people from what is the REAL problem: THE LEFT & Islam.
    IMO some tear gas would be useful although personally, Zyklon B may be more efficient.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I remarked on that too. It’s just another leftist student movement similar to the 1968 events. I wouldn’t care to cast in my lot with this crowd at all until they recognise the real threat to ‘la belle France’ namely the Muslim hordes that are also taking over the entirety of Europe.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the establishment in general, which is in most parties. It’s why in America they’re so afraid of Trump because they’re aware he’s coming to put a stop to it.

      Same thing with Marine Le Pen there in France.

      Like in this picture, it’s why Left versus Right is nothing but a dog and pony show.

      The problem is that Occupy types want to limit corporations with the power of the government which automatically means that the government has much more power, and you’re going to be in a worse situation anyway. That’s assuming they even limit the corporations you wanted limited in the first place.

      The only way you can really deal with it is by forcing the government to heel, dismantling their ability to take lobbyist bribes, and depriving government and the mega corps power. You have to disable government power; which is wielded by those corporations these Occupy people are primarily angry at. There’s simply no other way to actually accomplish anything.

      It’s why the real fight is Nationalism versus Globalism, it has been for decades, and it’s not even a battle most people are aware of.

      Like

    • ‘Did I read anyone complaining about the illegals or the approaching the fall of France to the mosques? No!!’

      But what you did read was:

      ‘Demonstrators regularly help other protest movements, such as a … demonstration against migrant evictions in the north of Paris.’

      Liked by 1 person

    • They won’t they’re the useless Occupy Wall Street.

      All they accomplished was the destruction of local business owner’s properties, thefts, rapes in the camps, defecation on cop cars and so on.

      Don’t expect anything better that that from these morons.

      Like

  3. “Personally, it’s the state of emergency, the new surveillance laws, the changes to the justice system and the security crackdown.”

    “Demonstrators regularly help other protest movements, such as a bank picket over revelations in the Panama Papers or a demonstration against migrant evictions in the north of Paris.”

    I didn’t read anything in this article implying that the forces included in Nuit debout are anything but leftist, certainly nothing suggesting nationalistic or pro-French sentiments. The participants seem to be disappointed that the Hollande government is not living up to socialists’ expectations.

    Like

    • Which is hilarious, because they’re never going to get what they want, because they do not comprehend why it’s not possible.

      Like

Published under FAIR USE of factual content citing US 17 U.S.C. § 107 fair use protection, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and UK Section 30(1) of the 1988 Act.

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