Fist, and Freedom Song (Ch. 2, 3, 7, in AWIP) and Toward A Great Resistance
(in Global Slump) as well as 12 aIDitional academic sources. I ask you to do this so that you
provide an economic and political context to the analysis of your movement.
b) Make reference to McNallys discussion of the forms of struggle or methods of struggle (direct
action, mass mobilization, and participatory democracy) in the social movement you are
examining. In other words, to what extent does the movement you examine base its struggle on
these forms or methods? Why is this significant?
c) Use a method of citation that includes footnotes or endnotes (along with a bibliography).
Possible Topics:
1. What are/were the strengths and weaknesses of the Occupy movement, or the Quebec Student
Protests/Movement which morphed into a larger movement against austerity? You probably want
to make reference to the different forms of struggle either of these movement utilized, the
movements relation to the state, the movements demands (political clarity), its organizational
durability etc.
2. What role do third world immigrants play in the economies of wealthy countries like Canada and
the US? How can a movement be built to defend such a vulnerable sector of the labour force?
3. Had the Canadian trade union movement been successful in the last decade in its stated goals of
defending the rights and incomes of working people? Why or why not? Is the present form of the
trade union movement in Canada a barrier to its success? Why is the labour movement despite its
problems central to challenging the power of capital?
4. What are the key issues facing the feminist movement (or Queer movement) & womens rights
today? What challenges, if any, does the backlash pose to organizing for womens rights?
5. To what extent can meaningful social justice, in Canada and/or internationally, be won in the
present capitalist system? What, if any, are the limits to this system? Is there an alternative? Is a
more democratic alternative than liberal democracy and capitalism possible or desirable? To what
political, economic, and democratic end should these movements be ultimately striving?
6. Many social movements (gay rights, feminist, environmental, anti-poverty, indigenous, unions
etc) in Canada commonly make recourse to the court system as a central part of their political
strategy (charter challenges for example). How effective is this strategy? Are there limits to it?
7. Is the electoral arena an important space to win social gains? Can real change only be won outside
the electoral arena? You may want to examine the NDP or another social democratic party
elsewhere and its relationship with social movements. Does it represent their interests? Should
social movements and political parties work together?
8. Is violence justified in a movements struggle for social change? If yes, under what
circumstances? Should there be limits? If no, how can real significant social change be won
through non-violent means given the states proven tendency to resist this? In your paper, clarify
the definition of violence (is there a difference between violence against property and violence
against persons, for example?). What are the implications of defining a blockade as violence?
Situate your analysis within the context of the increasing criminalization of protest.
9. Identify an historical social movement (in Canada or internationally, such as the Paris Commune
in 1871 or Spain in 1936 for example) and describe what it was about (who was involved and
what they were organizing for). Analyze how the state and business elite responded to its demands
and whether you think it was successful. Has it directly or indirectly shaped your life in any way
10. Analyze a contemporary case study of democratic movements for social change or anti-austerity
struggles (think Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Iceland, etc). Analyze how the state
and business elite responded to its demands and whether you think it was successful. Has it
directly or indirectly shaped your life in any way today?