As Occupy Wall Street nears the end of its second month and the future of encampments across the country becomes an increasingly pressing question, Time magazine spoke with When Protest Makes Policy author S. Laurel Weldon for her perspective on what has become an international movement. In the article, Weldon suggested that the two most likely outcomes for any large protest movement are victory or a gradual fading.
“Protests are successful when they generate attention or influence the political agenda,” Weldon says as the movement has already spread across over 70 U.S. cities. “Occupy Wall Street protesters want attention to an issue, not policy. Their power lies in their ability to talk about a solution, forcing elected officials, political candidates and business leaders to respond to the protesters.”
When Protest Makes Policy was released in February 2011, before the events of Occupy Wall Street and during the early days of the Arab Spring. Yet the massive protest movements all over the world this year have made her book especially timely, with its stufy of role and efficacy of social protest groups for disadvantaged groups.