By A. K. Thompson
Are you taking on, or are you taking orders?
Are you going backwards, or are you going forwards?
White riot—I wanna riot.
White riot—a rebellion of my own.
—The conflict, "White Riot"
Ten years after the conflict in Seattle sparked an ancient fight opposed to the forces of establishment conglomeration and American imperialism, the anti-globalization new release is able to examine a decade of organizing that modified the face of mass motion round the globe.
Scholar and activist AK Thompson revisits the struggles opposed to globalization in Canada and the us on the flip of the century, and he explores the relationship among political violence and the white heart type. equivalent components sociological research and activist instruction manual, Black Bloc, White Riot engages with the major debates that arose within the anti-globalization stream over the process the previous decade: direct or mass motion? Summit-hopping or neighborhood organizing? Pacifism or range of tactics?
Drawing on circulation literature, modern and demanding conception, and useful investigations, Thompson outlines the impression of the anti-globalization stream at the white, middle-class youngsters who have been swept up in it, and he considers how and why violence needs to once more turn into a primary classification of activist politics.
AK Thompson is a author and activist dwelling and dealing in Toronto, Canada. presently finishing his PhD in sociology at York college, Thompson teaches social conception and serves at the editorial committee of Upping the Anti: A magazine of idea and Action. His courses contain Sociology for altering the area: Social Movements/Social Research (Fernwood Publishing, 2006).
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Extra info for Black bloc, white riot : antiglobalization and the genealogy of dissent
These actors do not magically appear. They must demonstrate the truth of their being through decisive action. They do so by passing through violence. indd 20 7/27/10 6:29:57 PM Our Riot, Ourselves 21 A second (and perhaps more obvious) inspiration for Black Bloc, White Riot is “white riot”—The Clash manifesto penned in the age of No Future. In it, Joe Strummer addresses the envy and frustration he felt upon witnessing violent Black responses to police repression during the 1976 Notting Hill carnival.
In the aftermath of September 11, as politicians aimed to extend the scope of “anti-terror” legislation to cover anti-globalization protest scenarios, the fight to add a criminal dimension to representations of the activist became increasingly acute. In order to get a sense of how these new conditions affected movement organizing efforts, it’s useful to consider the case of Sherman Austin, the California-based activist whose house was searched by the FBI in January of 2002 under warrant and at gunpoint.
And activists (who have often pointed out how struggle brings them to a clearer sense of themselves) seem to know this intuitively. In the closing six panels of his squatting opus War in the Neighborhood, New York-based comix artist Seth Tobocman makes the connection between struggle and ontological transformation explicit: If we can look at an abandoned building and imagine it full of people if we can look at a vacant lot and imagine a garden, / then why can’t we look at each other and imagine what we can become with time and work?