The prevailing discourse on organizing, people power, and collective action is usually discouraging. Leaders of movements and campaigns, along with their work and efforts, are undermined, sometimes even by those closest to them.The negative discourse has various reasons behind it, including expressions of frustration in marginalized societies and interventions by those in power to maintain the status quo.
While building individuals’ capacities to organize their power and resources for change is crucial, a discouraging narrative always attempts to push them in the opposite direction, diminishing the efficacy of taking action and people’s ability to bring about change. Therefore, Ahel invests time, effort, and resources to change this narrative. We produce knowledge products about organizing and continuously share success stories of campaigns to serve as an inspiring example of people’s capacity for the cause.
Challenging this narrative is a shared responsibility for everyone who believes in collective action and works towards change, so we began working with organizers in early 2023 to influence this narrative themselves. We invited a group of leaders from our community and started designing and implementing the “People Power Narrative” campaign together. The goal is to change the narrative about collective action’s value, efficacy, and necessity. Ideally, the narrative should support and encourage the collective action of those defending their rights. The campaign has laid out its initial phase, focusing on working with the campaign community, developing visual and written products to support this effort, and using them in early 2024 as tools in collective tactics to influence and change the narrative on people power.