Building the Whirlwind

Movement Moment Insights


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In the days, weeks and months after the historic success of the September 27 protest, many grassroots organizers felt disillusioned. “The slump we felt post-September 27 was about what our next move was, as in how can we build from here? There was a lot of resentment related to the lack of concrete progress even though in terms of public discourse, there were major advancements,” according to François. 

Feeling this way after a big movement moment is, according to movement theorist Bill Moyer, a normal part of the process. He writes that “within a few years after achieving the goals of “take-off”, every major social movement of the past twenty years has undergone a significant collapse, in which activists believed that their movements had failed, the institutions were too powerful, and their own efforts were futile. This has happened even when movements were actually progressing reasonably well along the normal path taken by past successful movements!”.

A longer view of history allows us to see that not only do movements have successive waves, but movements build from each other, too. 

Informally, grassroots networks learn from...