How to sustain a mass movement

A young trainer in Occupy Wall Street, Nicole Carty studied civil resistance tactics at the James Lawson Institute. As an Occupy trainer and facilitator she saw the movement fall apart by July 2012 as the movement shrunk into a “radical clique.” As she saw Black Lives Matter galvanize activists again, she concluded, “This is the movement this generation has been waiting for,” so she identified what it takes to make a popular movement last. Be explicit in writing bullet points about goals and inclusive organizing principles to gain support from the 3.5% of the public needed to make a movement succeed. State positive core values and don’t alienate the public by allowing “anti-social” behavior and politics—a mistake made by Occupy Wall Street. Carty observed most of the successful movements provided direct action training, as did Act Up and The Dreamers. Provide a way everyone involved and feel they’re making a difference ranging from writing a letter to hosting a training and humbly learn from past movements.

Nicole Carty, “Tips for Building a Mass Popular Movement,” Popular Resistance, December 31, 2014.


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