From Solidarity to Disillusionment

Frédéric Royall


This article focuses on the mobilization cycle of Occupy in Ireland. It looks first at factors which facilitated the building of group solidarity before turning attention to some of the processes which led participants to become disillusioned and, ultimately, to demobilize. I argue that, in the short term, Occupy was of particular importance to many of the occupiers – and the more socially fragile participants notably – because it helped them to make their voices heard and to deal with their day-to-day personal concerns. Such a process was also of assistance to create a form of group identity and solidarity. In the longer term, however, the Occupy camps became beset by a number of unintended – and interrelated – complications. These relate to the rise in increasingly destabilizing power struggles and to the upsurge in doubts about the ways the camps were run. Both these issues undermined group solidarity and contributed, ultimately, to widespread disillusionment and to demobilization.

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