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Bill Moyers & Company

What Makes Nonviolent Movements Explode?

December 29, 2014

Some protests are ignored and forgotten while others dominate the news cycle for weeks, becoming touchstones in political life. What can we learn from successful movements? By Mark Engler and Paul Engler. Read Full Article at Bill Moyers & Company >>

Why are some protests ignored and forgotten while others explode, dominating the news cycle for weeks and becoming touchstones in political life?

For all of those seeking to promote change, this is a critical question. And it was a particularly pressing concern after the financial meltdown of 2008.

In the years following the crash, America entered into its worst economic crisis in three quarters of a century. The unemployment rate reached into double digits, something that had not happened in the lifetimes of more than a third of all Americans. State governments reported record demand for food stamps. And yet, debate in Washington, DC — influenced by the activism of the insurgent tea party — revolved around cutting the budget and trimming social programs. “We were basically having an insane national discussion,” remarked economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

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