Portal:Social movements

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Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals and/or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change.

Modern Western social movements became possible through education (the wider dissemination of literature), and increased mobility of labor due to the industrialization and urbanization of 19th century societies. It is sometimes argued that the freedom of expression, education and relative economic independence prevalent in the modern Western culture is responsible for the unprecedented number and scope of various contemporary social movements. However others point out that many of the social movements of the last hundred years grew up, like the Mau Mau in Kenya, to oppose Western colonialism. Either way, social movements have been and continued to be closely connected with democratic political systems. Occasionally social movements have been involved in democratizing nations, but more often they have flourished after democratization. Over the past 200 years, they have become part of a popular and global expression of dissent.

Modern movements often utilize technology and the internet to mobilize people globally. Adapting to communication trends is a common theme among successful movements. Template:/box-footer

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Feminist suffrage parade in New York City, May 6, 1912.

The feminist movement (also known as Women's Liberation) refers to a series of campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, voting rights, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.

The movement's history has gone through three waves, beginning in the 18th century. The first wave was oriented around the station of middle or upper-class white women, and involved suffrage and political equality. Second-wave feminism attempted to further combat social and cultural inequalities. Third-wave feminism was a reaction to and continuation of the second wave, taking a post-structuralist analysis of femininity to argue that there is in fact no all-encompassing single feminist idea. It set itself against essentialist definitions of femininity, which assume a universal female identity, instead emphasizing discursive power and the ambiguity of gender. Third-wave theory incorporates elements of queer theory, anti-racism, and other hallmarks of modern progressivism.

The feminist movement has brought a sweeping variety of social and cultural change, its impact touching familial relations, religion, the place of women in society, gendered language, and relationships between men and women.

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Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods.

A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his assassination in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.

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Bayard Rustin NYWTS 3.jpg
Bayard Rustin (l) and Cleveland Robinson (r), organizers of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, on August 7, 1963.

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Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp was a peace camp established to protest at nuclear weapons being sited at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, England. The camp began in September 1981 after a Welsh group called "Women for Life on Earth" arrived at Greenham to protest against the decision of the Government to allow cruise missiles to be based there. The first blockade of the base occurred in May 1982 with 250 women protesting and during which 34 arrests were made. In December 1982, 30,000 Women join hands around the base at the "Embrace the Base" event.

The camp became well known when on 1 April 1983, about 70,000 protesters formed a 14-mile human chain from Greenham to Aldermaston and the ordnance factory at Burghfield. The women's peace camp attracted significant media attention and "prompted the creation of other peace camps at more than a dozen sites in Britain and elsewhere in Europe". Another encircling of the base occurred in Dec 1983, with 50,000 women attending. Sections of the fence were cut and there were hundreds of arrests.

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