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International Call for Global Day of Action by Nuit Debout May 15th

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We call on peoples movements across the world to mobilise for justice and real democracy on the 15 of May, 2016 for a #GLOBALDEBOUT. We invite you to come to Paris for an International Gathering of movements at Place de la Republic on May 7 and 8.

Today #46mars (April 15) is just two weeks after one million people mobilized in Paris and the movement Nuit Debout continues to grow. In numerous French and foreign cities, #Nuitdebout (Night on our Feet) is a light in the dark, it gives testimony to our hopes, dreams and common rebellions. Those who have taken the squares in the past and those who are taking them NOW: we know something is happening.

The struggle for a better world is Global and without boarders, let's construct together a global spring of resistance! Join to us on May 7th and 8th in Paris at Place de Republique to debate, to share our experiences and to begin to construct together common solutions. There we will strategise and prepare for an International day of Action on MAY 15th (#76mars). On this date we will occupy, mobilise and take direct action together across the world.

Nuit Debout's first aim is to create a space for the 'convergence of stuggles'. We hope this convergence will go beyond France and spread worldwide. There exist numerous links between social movements in all four corners of the world; from unemployment to the imposition of the financial markets, from the destruction of the environment to war and unacceptable inequality.

In repsonse to a system based on competition and individualism, we answer with the solidarity, participatory democracy and collective action. Our differences are not a source of divisions, but rather our strength, as we complement each other struggles. We are neither listened nor represented by the current economic system.

Together we retake public space and politics because politics is a matter of all of us. Now is not the moment retreat, but to come together for change.

We are the 99 % and we are here to reject the financial and poltical rule of the 1 % and their world. We are here to take back our cities, our places of work and our lives.

On May 7th and 8th, let's come together to Paris to the square of the Republic!

On the day of May 15 we will rise up together for a global day of action.

#NuitDebout everywhere! #GlobalDebout!

Discussion 11 Comments

  • Awesome. Thanks, Peter. Looks like this could be the start of something big. (Or at least the chance to have another whack at something big!)

    Also, remember: May 1st is also coming up. Take the opportunity to link up with other militants near you.

    Risk is that this ends up being some kind of do-over of Occupy. Word is part of the strength of the Paris actions has been that everyone’s going home afterwards, recharging—staying out of the pigs’ direct reach and surveillance—and going out fresh the next day. This way occupations can be used more tactically—rather than doing because it was considered in-advance that it’d be the defining activity, some end unto itself.

    Always thought a good ethic to maintain in approaching new projects and campaigns is to meet only when necessary and keep the emphasis (in our concept of democracy) on autonomous action (actual doing) and people organising—planning, joining affinity groups, affinity groups joining each other—as they do shit. Something like: we should be happy to meet—i.e. take it seriously, try and maintain the good vibes, don’t let the fucking men dominate the discussion—but antsy and reluctant to have them (or let them go on and on and on and on and on) because we’re keen to get back to making preparations or hopping to it.

    The optimistic cynic in me is sure that we’ll find new and exciting ways to collectively fuck this up! Until then: TAKE TO THE STREETS, COMRADES! (While staying creative, looking after ourselves and each other, have fun, and taking care not to burn without burdening others with your responsibilities.)

    Would folks remaining in the echoey halls of iopsociety.org care to have a project page to share updates on #GLOBALDEBOUT activity local to us perhaps? (Also, please say if you think that’s a shit idea!)

    P.s. From reading I did…

    ‘At the center of the Place de la République is a 31 feet (9.4 m) bronze statue of Marianne, the personification of the French Republican, "holding aloft an olive branch in her right hand and resting her left on a tablet engraved with Droits de l'homme."[7]…

    (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen: ‘The Declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen), passed by France's National Constituent Assembly in August 1789, is a fundamental document of the French Revolution and in the history of human and civil rights.[1] The Declaration was directly influenced by Thomas Jefferson, working with General Lafayette, who introduced it.[2] Influenced also by the doctrine of "natural right", the rights of man are held to be universal: valid at all times and in every place, pertaining to human nature itself. It became the basis for a nation of free individuals protected equally by law.’)

    …The statue sits atop a monument which is 75 feet (23 m) high.[8] Marianne is surrounded with three statues personifying liberty, equality, and fraternity, the values of the French Republic.[9] These statutes also evoke the three medieval theological virtues.[10]…

    (Theological virtues: ‘The three theological virtues are:
    • Faith: belief in God, and in the truth of His revelation as well as obedience to Him (cf. Rom 1:5:16:26)[2][3]
    • Hope: expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up. The belief that God will be eternally present in every human's life and never giving up on His love.
    • Charity: a supernatural virtue that helps us love God and our neighbors, more than ourselves.’
    Or in a more Catholic way:
    • Lack of faith may give place to incredulity (as in atheism and agnosticism), blasphemy or apostasy.
    • Lack of hope may give place to despair or cynicism.
    • Lack of love may give place to hatred, wrath or indifference.)

    …Also at the base is a lion guarding a depiction of a ballot box.[11] The monument has been described as "an ordinary one, acceptable to a committee in the 1880s and inoffensively unarresting today."[12]’ Hehe.


  • Lambert Meertens 29th Apr 2016

    Occupy Wall Street is often presented as a failure because it was not translated into a lasting organizational form, but in my view it was a tremendous success. The people who participated have been transformed by the experience. The Arab Spring, 15-M, OWS, the Gezi Park protests, and now Nuit Debout, all show the world that the potential of a communal mass movement exists, completely independent of the established approved and canalized political processes.

    • Peter Lach-Newinsky 30th Apr 2016

      Agree on both points, Lambert. The subjective and cultural change aspect of participation in radical grassroots democracy and direct action is one, strangely, a lot of leftists simply ignore with their future-fixation on some never-arriving institutional 'endpoint' or 'goal'. How can autonomy/democracy/self-management be fought for if it is not, or has never been, experienced (which of course it isn't in the heteronomy of 'normal politics', i.e. elections or clictivism or top-down campaigns...)

    • Hey, Sleep Dirt Mittens and Peter Not Klaus Kinski. Don’t think failure and success are good terms to be dealing in here. [TRIGGER WARNING, SORRY] People were raped at some of the encampments. [RESUME HERE] The many things were fought over bitterly, very much not democratically. Indigenous struggle was underrepresented to say the least—Tom Morello even went around singing ‘This Land is Your Land’ just to ensure the salt was well and truly rubbed in. Sure, there were beautiful moments. Maybe they should’ve been a lot more beautiful. It was a complex series of events, don’t think it serves anyone too well to boil it down.

      Really don’t get the claim that people need to have experienced freedom to fight for it. Having good concepts of these things and the will to fight will suffice. Those things are communicable. Slave don’t need to experience life without chains to want to break them and kill the masters.

      Also seems to be an issue of something like scale. Having some kind of democratic way of managing a protest, an occupation, is a far cry, and I’d say qualitatively different, from securing collective control over the means of existence, arguably the least needed for meaningful, real-deal self-determination. If that’s the case, then the experiments that happen in protests, orgs, campaigns should be thought of as being that, experiments, a bit of a play around, rather than real-world examples of the amazing what's-to-come! Coop networks and regional self-governance get much closer to representing the deep stuff. Dunno. Thoughts, innit. Thoughts? No? Maybe. Uh? Bye. Nup, hey, yep? Oh.

    • Lambert Meertens 11th May 2016

      Imagining something, however vividly, cannot replace actually experiencing it. This claim is based on what people who have been in the situation report themselves. What they felt is not something they could have imagined.

      That is not to say that you need to have felt freedom to fight for it. But your motivation will be different if you have experienced that exhilarating sense of liberation.

      I fully agree with the scale issue. It's one of the key problems. But building experience and confidence in democratic ways of managing direct action is vitally important. A movement for fundamental change without ways of organizing direct democracy and shaping a consensus in discussions in which many people participate on an equal footing will eventually be defeated, if not from the outside then from the inside.

    • Cool. Sure. Same fo romantic love and sexual intercourse fo dat matter.

      Not that it's what you're sayin' i'm sayin' or that i'm sayin' you're not sayin' this but just to sayin' I'd never be sayin' experimentation shouldn't be a priority but just that we have to be real about it not bein' an option for the overwhelmin' majority of people an overwhelmin' majority of the time so we probz shouldn't fall into feelin' that these movementz represent vitally necessary momentz in the build to global revolt... they're good in ways, not so in others, and at the end of dayz it's peeps fighting together intensely and taking control of their lives off the masters and into their own hands... not so much bein' real good at protestin' ya know?

      Autonomy'z what ya have, democracy'z is what ya do when you and enough others around you are determined not to treat one another like shit, not return to slavery. Imho, there'z no rocket surgery to be had in that. Passin' 'round and practatin' nifty tricks for smoothin' out relations can be catalytic but not initiatory. Eye ee it can make-sooner what was aleady-becoming, not make-possible what'd be otherwise-not. Mm. That.

    • Lambert Meertens 13th May 2016

      Well, you may be right. Or maybe not. Who can tell.

      I remember that I felt stupid at school because I didn't understand what I was told in the history lessons. The text we were using would for example describe some bad situation and then continue: ”It was clear that this could not continue much longer. The people began to grumble and rebelled.” And I was thinking, The whole history book is full of instances of abuse and oppression, and most of the time people appeared to live with that. What is so different this time that made that this “could not continue much longer”? Why was this clear?

      Now I understand the authors just made this up to impose a semblance of order onto what is essentially a chaotic process. That is as true today as it was then. Nobody knows how and when the people will stand up, and what will or will not come out of that.

      Maybe these movements are not vitally necessary in the sense that oxygen is vitally necessary to us, but they may be like minor earthquakes before the big one.

    • Whatever nevermind the right or not of it I reckon. Reckon we're just playing with articulations of the frame, honing it to attune ourselves to the situation and hopefully approximate where revolution's heartbeat may be heard.

      Brings to mind a scene from Tarantino's Django:

      ‘This is Ben [referring to the skull of a slave]. He's a old Joe that lived around here for a long time. And I do mean a long damn time. Well Ben here took care of my daddy and my daddy's daddy, till he up and keeled over one day. Old Ben took care of me. Growing up the son of a huge plantation owner in Mississippi puts a white man in contact with a whole lot of black faces. I spent my whole life here right here in Candyland, surrounded by black faces. And seeing them every day, day in day out, I only had one question. Why don't they kill us? Now right out there on that porch three times a week for fifty years, old Ben here would shave my daddy with a straight razor. Now if I was old Ben, I would have cut my daddy's goddamn throat, and it wouldn't have taken me no fifty years to do it neither. But he never did. Why not? You see, the science of phrenology is crucial to understanding [scientific racism, blah, blah, blah].’

      Used to think it's a matter of ideas. But they don't cut it. This romanticisation of 'ideas' (particularly the market place there of) meshes too well with the rationalist, scientific, rationalist, technocratic (did I mention rationalist?) hegemonic ideology—not really rational of but actually impossibly post-ideological ;) Reducing the spirit to the codifiable. Fuck that to hell. There's too much feeling, intimacy, history, diversity contingency! in play to account for.. Then again, I feel that in dealing with some concept of spirit I feel reduced. Then, then again: good thing about "spirit" is that it's exactly about something in motion and irreducible--embrace the vagueness! A concept of the spirit of rebellion is one that I think we can feel okay to not really know exactly, to remain mysterious. (Even its definition cannot be ruled over!) I find metaphors of embers and fire helpful sometimes. Sometimes, for some bunch of reasons it kicks off. There are oppressive situations that, as you say, just don't result in any resistance at all, then there are others that lead to historical paradigmatic shifts. (Did somebody say revolution again?) An implication? Free will is a thing actually! The idea that free will is an illusion is just the technocratic, religiously scientific elite imposing their dreams on their depoliticized subjects. Having this reality, the reality, our reality internalized means we assume before we know that we can always: just do it. Just start resisting. Start noticing how we're being dominated, who's dominating, what gives them power, what will allow us to destroy that power, to live with dignity, and zo on.

      Your earthquakes are better than my chemical reactions. Well poot.

  • Lazy Coward 15th May 2016

    Hmm. Ideas. The romanticisation of ideas. Perhaps that's an idea? Or is it a feeling? Or is it the reeling of an idea. The idea of a feeling being reeled in. Then rolled out. Exposed in all its embarrassing inevitability.

    "....meshes too well with the rationalist, scientific, rationalist, technocratic (did I mention rationalist?) hegemonic ideology—not really rational of but actually impossibly post-ideological ;) Reducing the spirit to the codifiable."

    Ah, bah, humbug. The irreducible. We always want the irreducible as if we're losing something. Always wanting something bigger. Always as if motion, movement, like everything is, always, including romanticised ideas, is. To halt is to stagnate. To smell and wreak of death. Rotting shit. Move baby move. Four to the floor. Boom blap doof doof. The beautiful movement of revolution. The circular motion. Rub it. Rub out the dead metal ideas. Shiny and sleak by your side. Ah, the beautiful rebellion.

    Free will as a thing. Tell me for sure? Come on. Tell me for sure. The illusion is the same is not the same but too different. Give it to me baby, ah hah, ah hah. Four chords and a fourth chordal cadence make a plagal nuisance of yourself. Sometimes things spark up and other times....well,who gives a shit. House hunters is on and your footy team just lost by a point.

    Illusion your foot. The emptiness of emptiness and compassion the other side of the coin. You fight for what's right, wrongly. You fight for what's wrong rightly, like an eye. And back again. Always looking for something bigger, some spirit, some soul, but not an idea of hegemonic tediousness, with no smile or laughter attached. Ah, we're all the same. Adele and AC DC. All folk music in disguise. The same harmonic sequences again and again dressed up in feeling. The illusion of difference. Punch out that harmonic and blues lick, you sound angry. Are you angry? Are YOU angry. Are you Ang Lee. I dig the blues. Thank god for slavery. Ain't it funky now. Can I say that, I ask myself, dragging out words from nowhere.

    Tell me what compassion is? Please. Please. Quote that mystic, cite that fucker. What is it really? What? Vagueness? Is that all you got. Some vague notion. Romanticised ideas meshing with the rational as if the scientist in us all has no spirit. The spirit of the scientist knows no science of the spirit, so help him doG. Bah humbug. Where's the difference? The scientist and the spiritualist. Ah the truth ah the truth ah the truth...about scientists! A model song. The left and right brains. The Left and wrong brains. The branes of absurdity that birth banged the big one? Conceptually writing of course. Righting the wrong course, of course.

    For fuck sake. Give me all your pathetic concepts and ideas. Shower me in them, always. Give me your wretched little creations. Fill me with your tedious notions and petty truths, your knowledge feelings and your feeling knowledge, until death comes yet again and again and again. I know not who I was or you ever are. The whole thing's a bad joke and we all know it. Crack that egg.

    You pull words out of darkness as do I and then we return.

  • Peter Lach-Newinsky 15th May 2016

    Ah, James' latest reincarnation.

    • Lazy Coward 15th May 2016

      Reincarnation is easy when you're alive. It's a fucker when you die!