‘Nuit Debout’ goes global: France’s youth-led movement urges worldwide protests on May 15

A woman faces French anti riot policemen as they block the access to the Place de la Republique after protesters taking part in the Nuit Debout (Up All Night) movement in Paris, on May 1, 2016. © Miguel Medina
The French protest movement “Nuit Debout” (Up All Night) plans to go international, urging people around Europe and the world to take to the streets to protest austerity, among many other grievances, on May 15.

The call for a “global day of action” was published on the movement’s social networks’ pages on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #GlobalDebout.

“We call on people’s movements across the world to mobilize for justice and real democracy on the weekend of May 15, 2016 for a #GLOBALDEBOUT,” the event’s descriptions states.

The aim of the global movement would be to arrange local “autonomous” protests linked by an issue that is urgent for the region, be it austerity, low wages or jobs.

An international meeting with activists from around Europe was held at Paris’ Place de la Republique on Saturday, which called to share experience “in order to build a common struggle in Europe.”

It’s only been a couple of months since the youth-led movement Nuit Debout started, but some of the protests have been turbulent: in April, more than 20 demonstrators were injured in Rennes, and police used tear gas to disperse the protests all over the country.

Thousands gathered all over France on April 9, and the movement drew comparison with the Occupy demonstrations in the US.

The protests have taken place in Paris, Marseille, Rouen, Rennes, Toulouse, and other cities.

The movement’s Facebook page has got over 50,000 “likes” in less than 10 days. Currently, the page has over 130,000 followers. 

It all started on March 31, after some 400,000 people marched in several cities across France to protest the proposed labor reform that would make it easier for employers to fire workers. Since then it grew into wider anti-government protests, with demonstrators expressing their grievances over a wide range of issues.