KEY COMPONENTS OF SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

James Lawson on Dream Act organizers

Key Words for Lawson below -- systematically stragetizing.  never stop strategizing......be disciplined and sustain action over time.

I am not clear in this article what "things" Lawson has "rethought" because of meeting with and learning about this movement.  He seems, instead, to be using the details of this story to reinforce the arguments he made in the Force More Powerful documentary, When We Were Warriors, about the Nashville Sit-Ins he directed in 1960

 From Narco News  

By the Rev. Jim Lawson
Remarks at the Fletcher Summer Institute

July 11, 2012
There’s a wonderful example going on right now in the United States. And it’s making me rethink some things about strategy and action. That’s the Dream Act students...

Various people in our country have been urging that executive order [two year moratorium] for three years. And always they were told: “we do not have the power.” When The Dream Act started organizing 5 years ago – only about 5 years ago – the base was in Los Angeles at UCLA, undocumented students who began to research and organize. Against the wish of the immigrant rights movement, they decided: “even if we don’t get the comprehensive reform, we’re going to get changes made on our status.” So they defied their elders on this issue. And they are organizing systematically. Now the press hasn’t reported the result of the strategizing for that Executive Order because they’ve done other things. They’ve had conferences at the White house and even with the President. They’ve had hunger strikes in Miami, in LA, and elsewhere. They had a group of undocumented students march from Miami to Washington a year and a half or two years ago. So they’ve had all of these demonstrations. None of these demonstrations have been large. Most are relatively small. ...

But here’s an illustration of a relatively small group of people organizing, ‘cause it’s tough. They could be picked up at any time as they go to work, go to school, graduate from high school, graduate from college… But it demonstrates there’s still much I can learn from strategizing and planning and how you put on a campaign.


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