How not to stage a protest

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Perhaps you have heard of the Nuit debout movement in Europe, especially France. It is just like the “Occupy” phenomenon in the U.K. and USA (Sep 2011 – Feb 2012).

Nuit debout (“Up all night”) is populist grass roots movement. We know it is genuine because the Western corporate media outlets are largely ignoring it, even though the event is ongoing, and involves millions of people.

Nuit debout — like most populist grass roots movements — will fail to bring about any changes, because the participants have no specific demands.  Indeed they refuse to make specific demands. They are simply complaining about debt, poverty, inequality, unemployment, political corruption, and so on — just like the useless “Occupy” people did before.

Slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” (An Address on West India Emancipation, delivered at Canandaigua, New York, 4 Aug 1857.)

That is truest of all when there is no clear demand to begin with.

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If a child has a tantrum, and refuses to say what he or she wants, then you will likely ignore the child, and perhaps even spank the child eventually. Likewise the authorities ignored the “Occupy” movement for a time, and finally spanked the children with batons, bulldozers, and rubber bullets. So it will be with Nuit debout.

The issues are clear, but nothing will change without specific demands.

Unfortunately the Nuit debout people (like the “Occupy” people before them) are proud of their vagueness. “No hatred, no arms, no violence. We come to the public squares each night to debate ideas.”

Meaning they come to sing songs and blow off steam. And they wonder why the government ignores their (non-existent) demands.

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All of this is garbage spewed out by young people who are comfortable and well-fed. They are trying (and failing) to imagine that their weakness is a strength. “My strength is that I don’t know what I want.”


To illustrate how idiotic these losers are, let me compare Nuit debout to an inmate strike that is currently happening in the Alabama State Prison System. The inmates provide slave labor for Alabama businesses. Although they are locked up in solitary confinement, they have more power than the Nuit debout people, because the inmates have specific demands.  They don’t have the luxury to bullshit.

They want…

[1] Higher wages. Inmates who work in jobs are paid seventeen cents per hour. Some inmates are paid nothing.

[2] Drinkable water. Alabama prison guards drink bottled water. Meanwhile inmates cannot drink the prison water, since it is too polluted with chemicals. The prison water is cloudy, it smells awful, and it makes the inmates very ill.  Since inmates cannot drink it, they are constantly dehydrated, with cracked lips. Their only alternative is to drink what the guards give them, which is an unknown red juice that causes nausea and headaches, and leaves a stain on stainless steel for years.

[3] An end to outrageous fees. All inmates must pay $4 for armbands, $4 for identification cards, and $31.50 for a urinalysis test. They are charged $200 to petition a court, which is their only way to file a complaint, since Alabama’s prisons have no grievance procedure.

[4] An inmate grievance procedure. Alabama is one of the few states that does not have one.

[5] An end to scams. Guards sell cell-phones to inmates for $200, and then punish the inmates for using them. Inmates are charged $25 dollars for being caught with a cell-phone the first time, $50 the second time, $75 the third time, and so on. Inmates use the phones to call their families.

[6] Cleaning materials. Inmates are not given any materials to keep their tiny living spaces sanitary. Some try to use their own clothing and bathing soap to clean their cells, to little effect. Meanwhile the hall floors for the guards are cleaned three times a day.

The inmates are refusing to work until their demands are met. Hence they are depriving Alabama businesses of slave labor.

The prison system has cut their food rations in half to punish them, but the inmates remain steadfast. (Alabama legalized slavery in 2012 — i.e. legalized the use of prison labor by private, for-profit companies.)

Can you imagine the Alabama inmates saying, “We don’t need to make demands. After all we’re not terrorists”…?

That would be useless.

Nuit debout 08One way or another the Alabama inmates will get at least some of their demands met, whereas Nuit debout people in Europe will get none of their demands met, since they have no demands to begin with.

The Nuit debout people are mostly young, and they think like children. They think they will get more attention by being vague. They think their demands will be met if they have no demands. It’s ridiculous. It’s puerile. It’s the same as the previous “Occupy” people in the UK and USA.

Their rationalizations for their idiocy are endless…


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Imagine if desperate refugees from the imperialist wars talked like this when they tried to gain admittance to Europe…

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Like sulking children, the Nuit debout people refuse to say what they want, hoping that this will make the authorities start offering them things, as though the police and the politicians are doting parents trying to satisfy a little brat.

The reality is that politicians don’t care about these losers.

If you don’t clarify exactly what you want in this world, you will get precisely nothing.

Evidently no one has ever told these the Nuit debout nitwits that the way to success in life is to figure out what you want, and then focus on getting it.


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