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What are social movements?

View in full at The Corner House

Nicholas Hildyard on the nature and politics of solidarity

The UK-based Corner House has been engaged in solidarity and movement-building for many years and across many different contexts. In this presentation Nicholas Hildyard of Corner House addresses the complicated question of ‘What are social movements?’ – and provides some valuable experience and insights into the nature of solidarity.

“I think that view of solidarity as a two-way process of mutual assistance, mutual learning and expanding mutual struggle is one important family resemblance in the movements with which I identify. And I think it contrasts with silo-ised forms of campaigning that stress instead a “keep-off-my-turf” organisational “branding” or which see campaigning simply as proselytising for one’s own cause without attention to the causes of others.

“I think this is important because solidarity, if it is to mean anything, is a politics which stresses long-term relationship building over short-term, opportunistic and instrumentalist alliances. And this demands an approach to organising that pays attention to history, to understanding where people are coming from politically and where they seek to go, to building trust, and to constantly challenging those imbalances of power (particularly within movements) that thwart or constrain open debate on these issues.”

Find out more about Corner House in this video interview with Larry Lohmann, or explore their website.


What are social movements?
View in full at The Corner House