Mass Action Can Change Society

International Socialists

Anti-mining March 2010 Auckland march against mining, 2010

By Shomi Yoon

The mass of ordinary people who can change society. The ruling class, the capitalist media, and academia all stress workers’ powerlessness, and these ideas often filter through to people who want to change the world. The emphasis can get put on heroic individuals, spectacular action designed to ‘shock’ the masses out of their alleged passivity, or a focus on stunts for media attention. But, for society to change, we need to draw in the greatest numbers of people into activity possible. This isn’t just because we have ‘strength in numbers’, although that matters. It’s because, historically, the involvement of ordinary people in their masses has led to wins for our side.

If there is a clear lead and purpose, people will march in their thousands. In 2010 a 40,000-strong march in Auckland against mining in the national parks prompted a humiliating back-down…

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