What do dissidents do after a massacre? This article uses thirty-one brutal repressions to test collective-action theory in the harshest possible context. After a massacre, dissidents are outraged at the state, but also fearful of further repression. Can dissidents mobilize backlash protests in these circumstances? The report shows that there usually is sufficient communication of the massacre to enable subsequent backlash mobilization. Also, there is sufficient continuity in leadership after the massacre to coordinate backlash protest. The massacre-event leadership either remains in tact or is immediately and effectively replaced after the event. Moreover, dissident leaders use adaptive tactics to elude subsequent repression in most cases. A Bayesian updating test for mobilization shows that repression reduces backlash protests and that no repression increases backlash. This report concludes by affirming that collective-action theory works even in this highly challenging situation.

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