The Power of Protest

Coming soon!

“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy, it is absolutely essential to it.”   — Howard Zinn

THE POWER OF PROTEST: A feature-length documentary exploring how social movements and acts of resistance shape America's past and are essential to its future.

The United States is a nation born of protest. From the earliest days of revolutionary turmoil, when we see a wrong, we shout about it.

But at this current moment of countrywide upheaval, when Americans have taken to the streets as never before, here’s the essential question:

Does protest work?

In our 90-minute documentary, The Power of Protest, we will follow several contemporary protest movements, including the March for Our Lives anti-gun violence movement, the Red for Ed teacher protests, Black Lives Matter and protests on behalf of immigrant rights and rights for the disabled. We’ll use innovative, new social science techniques to explore the impact of protest on public policy and public opinion.  We’ll turn to experts, as well as scholars of civil resistance, to explain the strategies and tactics that have worked most effectively in the past, while exploring how these lessons can be applied to the contemporary movements unfolding around us.

This is a film for all the women and men protesting on the streets — or those thinking about joining a local resistance movement. We’ll investigate how effective public protest can be, even in the face of near-authoritarian rule that ignores the will of the people while imposing the priorities of the one percent.

We’ll examine why some movements, like the Tea Party activists, have sufficient clout to win elections and consolidate right-wing power, while others, like Occupy Wall Street, seem to have faded.  We’ll also ask:

  • What effect do mass protests have on our political leaders?
  • What is the connection between civil resistance and electoral politics?
  • What is the impact of technology and social media? Do they amplify a movement’s organizing ability or weaken it’s organizational effectiveness?

The Power of Protest will draw on the lessons of a new social science — “resistance studies” that are reshaping our understanding of how, why and when non-violent action works.  We’ll show how the traditions of protest and civil disobedience are once again being adapted and reimagined by a new generation of activists working for social, environmental, economic and racial justice.



200 Central Park South

New York, NY 10019

P: 212.221.6310



© Independent Production Fund. All Rights Reserved.