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Change can and does happen. But why is it that some campaigns succeed while others fail? Is it luck, or is there a common strategy unifying those that have achieved their aim, and what can we learn from the past? In Counterpower, activist Tim Gee seeks to get to the root of how change happens by taking an in-depth look at the strategies and tactics that have contributed to the success (or otherwise) of some of the most prominent movements for change from India’s Independence Movement to the Arab Spring. He concludes that any campaign is winnable in theory, but only if we are aware of our power.
About the Author: Tim Gee delivers training sessions for political activists. He studied Politics at Edinburgh University, where he was also active in the student movement. Tim has also contributed to several campaigning guides and manuals.
Launch Party Video
'Tim Gee's book is a important exploration of the power of protest and resistance (counterpower) to lift the problems of political oppression and corporate capitalism. The seven historical accounts, including India, how the vote was won in Britain, and briefly Egypt, demonstrate the struggles and achievements of past opposition to the dominant rulers. Gee sees major significance in the cases of grass roots resistance: "The message that comes through is clear: a new recipe for revolution is emerging. And it is altering the way that the world thinks about social change. This book is worth your attention." '
Gene Sharp, Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts. Founder of the Albert Einstein Institution.
'This is without a doubt the best book on activism, and resistance to power, that I have ever read.' - Symon Hill, The Friend.
'Tim Gee demonstrates a truth that I have long believed: real progressive change does not come from above, but from ordinary people struggling for their rights.' - Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner.
'This is a wonderful, inspiring book. Tim Gee breathes new life into the protest movements of past and present so that we can draw strength from our many victories. There is much to learn here, and much to galvanise us in the struggle for social justice.' - John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want.
'Ultimately, Gee knows that no theory is infallible, just as no victory is certain; and that if we’re ever going to achieve our own revolutions in social, economic and environmental justice, many more successful (and unsuccessful) campaigns will have to be fought, with many lessons learnt along the way. Counterpower is an engaging and at times inspiring read, recommended to those looking at the past and the future of movements for change.' - Steven Heywood, People & Planet.
'The economics and social system that rules this planet cannot be wished away but must be systematically transformed through focused strategic action based on effective resistance. The system of capitalism that rules our lives is destroying the basic life support systems of our planet and transferring wealth from the majority to an ever smaller elite. I recommend Counterpower as a powerful contribution to the debate about how we achieve change.' - Derek Wall, green activist, writer and economist.
'Everyone working for a better world would do well to read this book. Social change from below does not happen by accident. It is always the result of hard and constructive work. Counterpower, full of encouraging past examples, is an inspiration for the future.' - Bruce Kent, political activist.
'A very important and positive book that deserves to become influential in the months and years ahead.' - Ian Sinclair, Peace News.
'Not just young activists, but anyone who really cares about social justice should read this book.' - Amazon 5-Star Customer Review
'Tim Gee’s Counterpower could not have been published at a more appropriate moment... From the Occupy protests to the Arab Spring, political movements are occurring on a scale and consistency that has not been seen for a generation.' - Mark Newton, The Ecologist
'Tim has written an interesting and insightful book about how and why some campaigns can be and are successful.' - Bernadette Hyland, MULE