Extended protest movements in France

The Place de la Republique in Paris was evacuated by the police earlier today, after vehement protests extended in other 60 cities

The Nuit Debout movement, inspired by the 2011 Indignados movement in Spain, resulted as a consequence of the French left-wing government presenting their labour market reform proposal. The protests began on 31 March in Place de la Republique and quickly extended in other French cities.

The cause of people’s dissatisfaction is the El Khomri law, that benefits the employers, while requiring employees to be more flexible during working schedule. The new law was named after the labour minister in France, Myriam El Khomri.

During this kind of protest, people gather into squares, quote slogans, discuss politics, reforms, listen to music and even watch artistic performances. The participants are mainly young people and students. The protest has no leader, therefore it lacks organization.

The movement’s manifesto quotes:

“Politics is not something for professionals, it is for everybody,” the movement’s manifesto says.

“The human should be at the core of our leaders’ preoccupations. Vested interests have overridden the general interest.”

The police evacuation followed several incidents during Nuit Debout: a few banks and high schools were damaged, while some protesters attempted to enter the apartment of the prime minister Manuel Valls. Therefore, police intervention was required to reestablish order among participants.

Some of the politicians in France have repeatedly asked the government to end the movement, due to the state of emergency imposed after last year’s attacks.

Meanwhile, because the support for Francois Hollande decreased, the left-wing radicals search for an alternative to the socialists, as suggested by the Nuit Debout.

At the same time, economy minister Emmanuel Macron, launched his own left political movement last week, named En Marche. Coincidence or not, analysts expect that the battle for the presidential elections will be held between two left movements: the Nuit Debout and the Macron.