May 3, 2011 12:30PM

“This time they said, ‘We’re not going.’ ”

“This time they said, ‘We’re not going.’”

That was the quote that caught my attention in last week’s PBS broadcast of “Stonewall Uprising,” a documentary about the “Stonewall riots” that launched the gay rights movement in 1969. And it made me think of other people who finally said “no” to oppression — like Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama, and Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia.

At the Britannica blog I look at the connections among these resisters and movements and ask:

What causes some acts of resistance to succeed? Is it historical inevitability, just the right moment for the dry field of hidden dissatisfaction to be set on fire by a spark? Some libertarian — and other — radicals wonder why Americans don’t revolt against what the radicals see as tyranny.