The real problem of social movements may be agents of pacification.Read more "The Most Notorious Agent Provocateur in History Was Nonviolent"
This suspension of liberties isn’t proven to save lives, but does fit the pattern of past social disasters in America. Drawing attention to panic and deception isn’t to belittle the suffering in the Bronx, or in Bergamo. It’s simply to grapple with the historical dilemma that governments can exploit one tragedy to create another.
Read more "Covid-19: The Discourse of Safety and the Exploitation of Trauma"
Above: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Greta Thunberg in Austria, May 2019 In September of last year, a young girl stood in a Washington DC congressional building to give a speech. Audaciously, she professed to follow in the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed address to the March on Washington in 1963. “I also have a […]Read more "Greta Is Our MLK. That’s Not Necessarily a Good Thing."
Some Boomers are distorting the history of their own movement for the sake of respectability politics.Read more "Betraying ’68"
Above: the White Night riots, San Francisco, 1979 We have been lined up in front of a firing squad and it is called AIDS. We must riot! – Larry Kramer, “Call to Riot”, 1990 Just a few weeks after the election of Donald Trump, Fabian Braithwaite of Out magazine made a call for a “Queer […]Read more "From Stonewall to Antifa: A Half Century of Bashing Back"
The history of the civil rights movement is often used to pressure militants into passive resistance. But how nonviolent was the Black Freedom Movement, particularly when it was winning? Historians now agree that the use of force played a constructive role for many liberation projects of the period, including not just the Black movement, but the […]Read more "From George Wallace to the Alt-Right: Resisting White Supremacy"
Above: Lois Scott, organizer for the Brookside, Kentucky chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, retrieves a handgun in the documentary Harlan County, USA (Barbara Koppel, 1976) “We become depressed when we look around and see 1100 white supremacist militia groups, and some of our names at the top [of their kill lists]! You […]Read more "Why the Left-wing Needs a Gun Culture"
The civil resistance mythos is damaging the public’s understanding of how social movements and direct action really function.Read more "Why Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work"
“The way they respond may not be the way we responded years ago — nonviolence — we’ve got to catch up to that. Right now, we’re playing catchup,” – Rev. John Richard Bryant, bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, commenting on Black Lives Matter protesters “You can’t get funding from Tides Foundation Canada or […]Read more "What the Climate Movement Can Learn from Black Lives Matter"
24 hours after the terrorist attack on Emanuel AME church in Charleston, Barack Obama took the podium at the White House and delivered his reaction. The president had a pressing issue on his mind: gun control. “At some point,” he intoned, “we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass […]Read more "Black Twitter Says #WeWillShootBack"