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The retreat of the Occupy movement is a normal and healthy stage of its development. The next step is to generate majority support for our alternatives.
Successful people-powered movements follow a similar arc of development. The best description comes from Bill Moyer’s The Movement Action Plan: A Strategic Framework Describing The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements. We believe this is essential reading for activists and include a link to it on the strategy page on Popular Resistance. Moyer expanded this 1987 article into, Doing Democracy, a book published in 2001, a year before he died. You can see a video of Bill Moyer’s last public presentation where he summarized the insights of his lifetime about how social movements grow and succeed, and about his vision of a new culture emerging through the cracks of a declining empire.
Moyers describes a grand strategy that includes 12 phases that lead to Stage 7: “Success.” Throughout this process it is important to remember a movement is only as powerful as its grassroots base and therefore must continue to nourish, support and empower that base. During this phase the movement participants switch roles from being “rebels” to being “change agents.” The 12 phases are to
..i don't agree with everything being said but to look at things using this movement filter is interesting to me. i wondered if babble might think so.
Interesting to note that politic agendas were very late in the process. This coincides with my view that change originates outside of politics. The importance of politics is not as much to generate change but to rather take the baton that so many others have carried and carry it the final laps. Most importantly, don't drop it.
Pogo, by "political", are you referring to electoral politics? The recent movements in which I have participated (the Québec Spring, Idle No More and the more diffuse development of Ecosocialism) have inherently political demands, though of course they can be unclear and contradictory.
Yes, I was looking at step 11. I don't disagree that movements will have key political goals, just that they are not centered on getting politicians to sign on initially at least. In Richmond we worked to save the Garden City Lands from being turned into a housing development. We won because we engaged and won over the community. We also had some skilled activists who inflated our strengths. A couple years later in the municipal election support for our cause was almost a motherhood issue. Now even the most development oriented politician (except one) knows to be on the right side of preserving farmland in Richmond.