Persistent Activist Communication in Occupy Gezi
33 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2017 Last revised: 8 Apr 2017
Date Written: March 31, 2017
We revisit the notion of activist persistence against the backdrop of protest communication on Twitter. We take an event-based approach and examine Occupy Gezi, a series of protests that occurred in Turkey in the early summer of 2013. By cross-referencing survey data with longitudinal Twitter data and in-depth interviews, we investigate the relationship between biographical availability, relational and organisational ties, social and personal costs to persistent activism online and on-location. Contrary to expectations, we find no clear-cut relationship between those factors and sustained commitment to participation in the occupation. We show that persistent activist communication did not feed into enduring organisational structures despite the continuous online activity observed during and beyond the peak of the Gezi occupation. The article concludes with reflections on the organisational ramifications of persistent communication and its significance in a political context posing high risks to participation in dissident politics.
Keywords: Activism, Availability, Organisation, Occupy Gezi, Persistence, Twitter
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