Skip to content

The Popular Resistance School will provide political education to help you understand the moment in which we live and how to challenge the power structure effectively. This web-based school will cover strategy and tactics, detailed analysis of key issues and skills-building videos.

Our first course is here!

How Social Transformation Occurs 

This eight-week course covers basic social movement theory including models of power, stages of successful social movements, roles of individuals and organizations in social movements, overcoming obstacles and tools for developing strategy and choosing and evaluating tactics.

The course consists of eight video lectures and a written curriculum.

Look below for the links to the individual classes.

Download the curriculum here: curriculum-course-1

There is no charge for the course. All who are interested are welcome to participate. If you are able to donate to support the costs of course, that is encouraged. We urge you to become a monthly sustainer to keep the school going. Click here to donate.

After you complete the course, you will be ready to hold a local course in your community. Popular Resistance will provide virtual support for your efforts. Contact us at

How Social Transformation Occurs

Class 1 – Power Holders versus People Power – We review definitions of oligarchy, plutocracy, democracy and social movement; studies on oligarchy; two models of power, the Power Elite model and the People Power model; how elites maintain the status quo and how popular movements counter the elite’s actions.

Class 2 – How to Build Popular Power – We cover some of the new data on successful social movements, characteristics of successful social movements, how to build a movement, when to negotiate and the effectiveness of violence versus nonviolence.

Class 3 – Stages of Successful Social Movements – We discuss Bill Moyer’s Movement Action Plan: The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements, including the political environment of each stage and the tasks of the movement in each stage, particularly stages one through five.

Class 4 – The Three Final Stages – We provide a more in-depth look at stages six, seven and eight. In particular, we examine the tasks and pitfalls of stage six, “Building National Consensus” and how to navigate the 12 phases, describe the mechanisms of success and what the movement does after success.

Class 5 – Roles of Individuals and Organizations – We review the four roles that individuals and organizations play in a social movement and what makes them more or less effective. We also discuss how coalitions function and basic principles for making them effective. Finally, we discuss the non-profit industrial complex.

Class 6 – Overcoming Obstacles – We review ways that movements are divided and taken off track, from intentional efforts to divide and conquer, as described by the corporate surveillance firm Stratfor, to co-optation, which can be insidious. We also discuss the relationship between electoral work and movements.

Class 7 – Infiltration – We describe the difference between an infiltrator and an informant. We explain the broad goals of infiltrators to gather information and disrupt and provide a list of tactics that are used. We explain how to recognize that an infiltrator may be present and what to do about it to both protect the organization and to confront the infiltrator.

Class 8 – Tools for Movements – In this class, we discuss the basics of organizing and describe a variety of tools that can be used to develop strategy and to evaluate tactics.

Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.