The recent proliferation of community-based responses to urban problems has been characterized by a shift away from protest tactics to more moderate approaches of building community and consensus, developing social capital, and identifying and improving local assets. This case study examines the persistence and effectiveness of protest tactics in a campaign by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now against H&R Block around predatory tax preparation practices. It reveals the potential of direct action, especially when local protests are coordinated nationally. This combination helps to transcend the inherent limits of both community-based activism and national-oriented advocacy efforts.
Fisher, R., Brooks, F., & Russell, D. (2007). “Don’t be a blockhead”: ACORN, direct action, and refund anticipation loans. Urban Affairs review, 42(4), 553-582. doi: 10.1177/1078087406296321
This article was originally published in Urban Affairs Review. Copyright 2007, Sage Publishing.
The author's post-print (post-peer-reviewed) version is posted here with the author's permission.