Nuit Debout

June 2024 Forums General discussion Nuit Debout

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  • #84748
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Came across this story in the Independent and was intrigued by it

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/new-paris-protest-has-no-plans-and-no-leaders-but-still-1000-protesters-turn-up-every-night-to-call-a6975686.html

    Quote:
    In the Place de la République in Paris they turn up at 6pm each day and leave at midnight. Their numbers are growing, although not as fast as they claim. There are 1,000 present on most evenings. The movement, Nuit Debout, (“Standing Up Night”) has spread to several other European cities. The movement has been compared with the Occupy movements in the US and Britain and the start of the Indignant/Podemos movement in Spain. The movement began as a spin-off from protests against proposed changes in French labour law.

    They have no leaders and no demands, except the end of capitalism and the world as we know it. There are “general meetings” which make decisions to “end” social injustices, such as homelessness and unemployment. Votes are taken by a complex shows of arms and hands. Two hands in the air means “oui”. Two arms crossed in the air means “non”. Two arms crossed with fists clenched means “absolutely out of the question. Think again.”

    In the early days, the participants had no individual names. Everyone was “Camille”, a name which can be male or female in French. The inaugural Nuit Debout was addressed by Frédéric Lordon, a left-wing French economist and leading light in a group called Economistes Atterrés (Appalled Economists), which rejects conventional market economics.  Lordon declines to speak to the media. “I have no wish to appear as something I am not – the leader of a movement which has no leader.” Lordon suggests that Nuit Debout threatens the capitalist world precisely because it is so undefined. “Understand, we are demanding nothing,” he wrote. “Understand, that after decades of seeing you [the ruling classes] demonstrate your talents and your arrogance, the idea of negotiating anything with you seems absolutely pointless to us…We are the crazy Left. And we are coming…”

    Gael said: “We don’t know where this is going – that’s the whole point. We don’t have plans. We don’t have demands. We don’t have leaders. We disagree about many things, but we know that things have to change. We didn’t need the Panama leaks to tell us how the world works. We no longer want a system where the selfishness of a few limits the lives and opportunities of the many.”

    Perhaps a few  members who are French-speakers could have their costs paid for jumping on the Euro-Star with our French language leaflets and pamphlets and discover more of this expression of political activism. It may not turn out to be something we can support or sympathise with but it may well be an over-lap of ideas that we can have an opportunity to engage in.  

    #118793
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Economistes Atterrés Not too impressed by these folk when i visited their website and read their manifesto…not too appalling in their list of economic reforms as it happenshttp://www.atterres.org/http://www.atterres.org/sites/default/files/Manifesto%20in%20English.pdf

    #118794
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    The Guardian also carries a story about them…just like waiting ages for a bus and they all come at oncehttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/08/nuit-debout-protesters-occupy-french-cities-in-a-revolutionary-call-for-changeSo just a few additional info and quotes"spread to cities such as Toulouse, Lyon and Nantes and to Brussels"“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.”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”.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.”So some fellow workers have questions and are seeking answers. We have a receptive audience for our ideas, it seems. Here are the text of various leaflets we could distribute.http://www.worldsocialism.org/fran%C3%A7aisShould we let this opportunity slip away? Lets present our alternative and see what the response is.Of course,  i can guess the reply to this …We have our current election campaign as our priority and cannot spare the effort to go off chasing will o' the wisp movements. 

    #118795
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Surely the answer is to get a few comrades who want to go over, get a whole load of stuff from HO and go over and do it.Do we need to have an endorsed campaign by the EC for everything we do, surely not.In terms of costs, if those who wanted to go over put an appeal on here for some funds in the short term with an application for a retrospective application for funding from the EC, I'm sure funding would be made available.

    #118796
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    We have a relevant committee…Campaigns…i am sure they have the authority to organise an outing of volunteers and possess the budget to cover the expenses…return fare, a few meals, and one night's accommodation. I'm not talking about lots of people 2 or 3 at most to hand out literature and then to report back their observations and recommendations. Ideally also to take contact e-mails of any they come across who are ready to investigate the WSM further. But the key word is "volunteers" …it has often been made clear to me that we do have a dearth of members willing to put themselves forward…and as i already mentioned, we have other activities that demand attending to, as well. But if we don't hurry, we'll find the leftists will have visited before us and alienated those potentially interest. 

    #118797
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Which is precisely why I shall be voting for the motion put forward by Yorkshire regional branch re paying a General Secretary. If we have a paid General Secretary carrying out the routine, but non political tasks, this should release tie from those voluntarily doing these tasks to do the political style stuff like this.

    #118798
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    No, while supporting a paid Gen Sec i don't think it will address a problem in that we have reached a position that we cannot do everything we would want to.i would seek the job description of Gen Sec and HOO being combined into one position for a half-decent wage and "above the shop" accommodation provided if required and not as a "job on the side". If so i might just apply myself when i am obliged to return to the UK ;-pSimply look at the attendance of branch meetings…many are barely meeting quorum numbers… …and that includes the London branches which were once the core of the Party in past years. The demographics are clear on the future trend of the Party and it is not promising, Tim 

    #118799
    DJP
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Gael said: “We don’t know where this is going – that’s the whole point. We don’t have plans. We don’t have demands. We don’t have leaders. ”

    Without a platform, program or organisation this will be going nowhere fast (or slowly).

    #118800
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    No, while supporting a paid Gen Sec i don't think it will address a problem in that we have reached a position that we cannot do everything we would want to.i would seek the job description of Gen Sec and HOO being combined into one position for a half-decent wage and "above the shop" accommodation provided if required and not as a "job on the side". If so i might just apply myself when i am obliged to return to the UK ;-pSimply look at the attendance of branch meetings…many are barely meeting quorum numbers… …and that includes the London branches which were once the core of the Party in past years. The demographics are clear on the future trend of the Party and it is not promising, Tim 

    I think it would be more appropriate to seek out someone who is currently working for themselves doing self employed admin/secretarial work, getting them to do their work, which in my experience is a highly skilled and very complicated task and then paying them their rate for the job, in the same way that we would pay a builder if we needed some building done, or a plasterer if we needed some plastering done.As to the demographics, unless we stopping concentrating on running the admin of the party and start concentrating on building the party we shall die, the fact that we shall die with considerable wealth is of no comfort to me.

    #118801
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Without a platform, program or organisation this will be going nowhere fast (or slowly).

    So we should try and fill that vacuum, don't you think. 

    Quote:
    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass
    #118802
    DJP
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Quote:
    Without a platform, program or organisation this will be going nowhere fast (or slowly).

    So we should try and fill that vacuum, don't you think.

    It's up to them to develop their ideas. We could get someone to turn up with some leaflets but we wouldn't be treated like the messiah arriving and would likely have little real influence on the movement. People are, rightly, suspicious of being manipulated by political parties…

    #118803
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    It's up to them to develop their ideas.

     By implication then, the working class doesn't need a socialist party to educate, agitate and organise. Our role is then superfluous. And as we can already acknowledge our influence upon our fellow worker is minimal so we might as well give up trying to persude our fellow workers of the benefits of socialism and the most efficious ways of achieving it.Since our message is one of rejecting the leadership principle and full transparency in our party's democracy, of not interfering in trade unionism or social activism surely it will appear to share some of the protestors sentiments and resonate rather than alienate as you seem to imply.But we won't know either way unless we try and i think a token gesture isn't really going have any results. As i said during the Occupy St Paul's we should have made much more of an effort to engage with them. You seem to confuse education with evangelicalising. With over a 100 years of experience and analysis, we do have a certain insight that we should share. And maybe, just maybe, they will have something to teach us, too, in return.  

    #118804
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    DJP wrote:
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Quote:
    Without a platform, program or organisation this will be going nowhere fast (or slowly).

    So we should try and fill that vacuum, don't you think.

    It's up to them to develop their ideas. We could get someone to turn up with some leaflets but we wouldn't be treated like the messiah arriving and would likely have little real influence on the movement. People are, rightly, suspicious of being manipulated by political parties…

    And we wonder why we have difficulty recruiting. A comrade comes up with an idea for some positive action and the way forward is to pour cold water with a liberal helping of doom and gloom on it. Have we been the victim of some kind of bizarre entryism from The Socialist Studies/Ashbourne Court Group, with the intent of taking the "slogan boring from within" to its logical conclusion.So instead of approaching members of the working class with ideas about class, production, society and politics with a view to explaining to them our political perspective and attempt to "make socialists" we should just sit in 52 Clapham High Street waiting for the working class to show up, watching Comrade Cheeryarse (DJP) hand in hand with Eyore and Private Frazer wander off into where the sunset would be if it wasn't so bloody gloomy.

    #118805
    DJP
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Quote:
    It's up to them to develop their ideas.

     By implication then, the working class doesn't need a socialist party to educate, agitate and organise.

    Well socialist ideas certainly do not originate with the SPGB, there's nothing that the SPGB says that others have not thought of independently. I think it's not a case of "making socialists" but of finding socialists, or arranging things so that socialists can find us.

    #118806
    DJP
    Participant
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    A comrade comes up with an idea

    Ideas are very easy to come up with, especially if they are for other people to do. The problem is getting them put into action. If anyone wants to go to France then great! But who? And what effect could we realistically expect it to have?Normally it's Alan that is Private Fraser, so glad to be the fill in.

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