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Sustaining Protest Energy in Israel

By       Message Stephen Lendman       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Sustaining Protest Energy in Israel - by Stephen Lendman

Since mid-July, Israelis have protested in unprecedented numbers for long denied social justice. Succeeding depends on sustaining that energy disruptively for change. Though never easy, it's the only way.

Frances Fox Piven discussed it in her book titled, "Challenging Authority" about social movements becoming pivotal forces for change when ordinary people used their considerable clout, saying:

They have "power....when they rise up in anger and hope, defy the rules....disrupt state institutions....propel new issues to the center of political debate (and force) political leaders (to) stem voter defections by proferring reforms."

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When sustained, this determination produces change. Elections can't do it, not in America, most European countries or Israel because entrenched power shuts out independent interests.

Nonetheless, social justice is possible when committed people exert enough disruptive power. Piven explained it as follows:

Societies organize through cooperation and interdependence, but disparate interests at times conflict. While workers depend on management for jobs, managers, in turn, need them to produce. If labor is withheld, operations halt. Both sides have leverage. Either can use it effectively. 

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Piven calls the "activation of interdependent power 'disruption.' " It's a strategy based on "withdrawing cooperation in social relations." Protest movements "mobilize disruptive power," achieving leverage by breaking down "institutionally regulated cooperation" by strikes, boycotts, riots, and other disruptive actions without letup until succeed. 

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