‘We want a society built on something else than just profit and money-making.’ The French political system is hopelessly-alienated from large sections of its youth, and even a return to business as usual in the Place de la Republique will not mean the end of the trouble for the discredited political elite. The movement, called Nuit Debout; ‘Night on our feet’, has become a major-headache for the socialist government, which has tried without success to weaken it through a carrot-and-stick approach of policy announcements that benefit unemployed-youth together with police-harassment.
The future hinges on two factors: the response of the government to the situation, and the ability of the movement to coalesce around a set of defined principles and objectives. The movement is extremey young, and at the moment many people are discovering themselves as active-participants in a large group for the very first time. As the movement continues, talents will be discovered and I think that the frustrations most people generally feel will be much better channeled into a more concrete and stable political and social movement. Larnell (26, teacher, Lyon)
It seems that most people here don’t want to accept that (the status quo) any more. We want to act, to get involved and make things change because the leaders are not doing it, and it seems that if we want things to change by ourselves, it has to happen first with gathering, talking and learning to get to know each other on a bigger scale, with tolerance and without discrimination so we can build up strong-ties about what we agree on, which values the society we want need to be built upon. It’s a beginning, but it really seems to be a determined one. – Name withheld (34, Paris)
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