A mass social movement has begun taking place in France, driven not by a single objection to the status quo, but a general notion of dissatisfaction with the current state of politics in France.
The movement has been called Nuit Debout, translating roughly to “rise up at night” or “Standing Night” and began on March 31st with thousands gathering at night in Paris to protest potential changes to the nation’s labour laws.
Since then movement has spread to nearly 30 French cities and across the border into Brussels. Every night workers and students gather in public places without any central organization and discuss a wide array of issues, from the original topic of labour laws to the refugee crisis, the Panama Papers and France’s current state of emergency.
In Paris for example, the “general assembly”, as it has become known, gathers in the Place de la République at 6 PM. Throughout the night hundreds of individuals discuss a pedigree of topics, using hand gestures to communicate approval or disagreement. Meanwhile, separate committees to discuss specifics, like the prospect of a new constitution, how to utilize poetry and how to build more permanent wooden structures for the movement, are appearing.
The movement as a whole has been described as a “Convergence of Struggles” and represents a growing dissatisfaction in the people of France with the way their country is being operated. The group’s Facebook page shows that there is planned demonstrations in countries across Europe, with each one likely to take up and prioritize grievances specific to their region.