Protest repertoires have been relatively stable for a really long time. Petitions have been with us since the first anti-slavery movement. Boycotts for almost as long. Nothing changes, and then it does. The recent explosion of new tactics rooted in technological innovation has spelled promise and peril for movements, most of whom face formidable obstacles and better-resourced incumbents.
I’m as excited by this turn of events as anyone; much of my recent work has taken place in rural India, where the most sophisticated technology in sight is usually a Nokia candybar phone. Sometimes an exploited laborer sends an urgent midnight text calling for help. Sometimes.