I got nowt to add to this “Dwight Towers” guy, whoever he is/was…

See also mobilisation



Apologies if I am repeating myself. I have had a quick look on the site, and can’t see where I have ever posted these burblings before.  Though they do link to “protest versus demonstration“…

We talk about Movement-Building all the time but do ithardly ever. Instead, we do what is “easier” and more visible, namely mobilising. We think they are the same thing, or that enough mobilising will build a movement. I want to suggest the relationship between the two is far more complicated. And sometimes they can be, if not enemies, then exist in real (and unacknowledged) tension.

One allows for

  • a sense of momentum and camaraderie
  • photos to slap on website and in annual report
  • It’s easy to measure success and to boast of it and to use it for more of the same.
  • It’s “finite” (i.e. not an open-ended commitment).

The other is slower, harder, invisible like the bulk of an iceberg. Guess which one gets done.

Mobilisation often involves simplification and pacification.

The repetition by those with the pre-knowledge (banner making, placards, booking coaches, selling tickets etc), that allows them to gain kudos while never stepping outside their comfort zone.

Movement building relies on finding out exactly what people want, what they can offer, what the movement needs. It doesn’t always work, it’s time-consuming and frustrating…


Ah, just found this  from

Organizing vs. Mobilizing.

A distinction developed by Civil Rights activist Ella Baker and elaborated by scholar-activist Charles Payne, “I’ve Got the Light of Freedom” (1995), mobilizing refers to the process by which inspirational leaders or other persuaders can get large numbers of people to join a movement or engage in a particular movement action, while organizing refers to a more sustained process whereby people come to deeply understand a movement’s goals and empower themselves to continued action on behalf of those goals.


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