This paper assesses and offers an overview of the protest movement that followed the 2009 Jeddah floods through the scope of social movement theory. After introducing the key debates to the field of political participation and protest, I argue that the recent proliferation of scholarship on political protest in Saudi Arabia has focused too much on movements that either seek to topple the government or act within an Islamic frame of reference. Movements with less far-reaching or secular claims have been neglected. The heart of the article focuses on two different dimensions of the events that followed the flood catastrophe. First, I examine the coordination and interaction between several state and non-state actors that took part in the management of the disaster and participated in the subsequent discussions. Then, I explore the discursive dimension of the protests by analyzing press articles, discussions on Facebook and four petitions that were addressed to the Saudi King. To conclude with, I show that it was the patriotic framing of the protests that enabled Jeddah’s population to articulate its claims as an acceptable form of protest. Regarding state reactions, I argue that the King took over the movement’s framing and succeeded in presenting himself as the leader of the movement and the main antagonist of corruption at a local level. Moreover, I suggest that social movements with grass-roots ties in the local population can be more influential than other opposition actors at the margins of the political spectrum with more radical claims.