Yet, young activists I met were surprised to learn that major events, such as the Columbia rebellion of April 1968, did not happen spontaneously, that they took years of prior education, relationship building, reconsideration on the part of individuals of their role in the institution. I.e., organizing. It seemed to me that they believed that movements happen as a sort of dramatic or spectator sport: after a small group of people express themselves, large numbers of bystanders see the truth in what they’re saying and join in. The mass anti-war mobilization of the Spring 2003, which failed to stop the war, was the only model they knew.
Interesting essay on building movements here.
Point being made is that revolutions are remembered for key events, but what is forgotten is the years of organising and slow change that it took to build to these moments of sudden revolt and dramatic, seemingly spontaneous shifts in the status quo.