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Keywords:

  • contentious politics;
  • social movements;
  • spatialities;
  • immigrant rights;
  • activism

The question of how space matters to the mobilisation, practices and trajectories of contentious politics has frequently been represented as a politics of scale. Others have focused on place and networks as key spatialities of contentious politics. Yet there are multiple spatialities – scale, place, networks, positionality and mobility – that are implicated in and shape contentious politics. No one of these should be privileged: in practice, participants in contentious politics frequently draw on several at once. It is thus important to consider all of them and the complex ways in which they are co-implicated with one another, with unexpected consequences for contentious politics. This co-implication in practice, and its impact on social movements, is illustrated with the Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride in the United States.