Black bloc, white riot : antiglobalization and the genealogy by A. K. Thompson

By A. K. Thompson

Are you taking up, or are you taking orders?
Are you going backwards, or are you going forwards?

White riot—I wanna riot.
White riot—a rebel 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 USA on the flip of the century, and he explores the relationship among political violence and the white heart type. equivalent elements sociological research and activist guide, Black Bloc, White Riot engages with the main debates that arose within the anti-globalization circulation over the process the earlier decade: direct or mass motion? Summit-hopping or neighborhood organizing? Pacifism or variety of tactics?

Drawing on stream literature, modern and important idea, and useful investigations, Thompson outlines the influence of the anti-globalization flow at the white, middle-class childrens who have been swept up in it, and he considers how and why violence needs to once more turn into a crucial class of activist politics.

AK Thompson is a author and activist dwelling and dealing in Toronto, Canada. at the moment finishing his PhD in sociology at York college, Thompson teaches social concept 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 resources for Black bloc, white riot : antiglobalization and the genealogy of dissent

Sample text

In order to actualize the promise of this moment, it is necessary to deal with the specificity of white experience and reckon honestly with the knowledge it yields. It is the minimum precondition to having more than good will to bring to the coalition table. n If it was not already clear beforehand, the decade since Seattle has made clear that the knowledge arising from white dissident experience is as contradictory as white dissent. Almost from the outset, the anti-globalization movement in Canada and the US was gripped by a series of confusing tensions.

Nor would I find it satisfying to restrict my efforts to phenomenological description, as if—by revisiting the site of trauma—white activists might exorcise the spectres of embodiment and specificity once and for all. What does seem worthwhile is tracing the concrete means by which engagement in struggle changes people by bringing them closer to the decision that inaugurates political being. Despite our ultimate failure, many of the activists that participated in the movement are demonstrably different for having engaged in conflict.

Despite its profound tactical limitations and incomplete realization, the movement’s experiments with riotous excess threw us before decision. It deposited us at a fork in the road and asked us to consider whether we were ready to cease being critics of society and start being conscious producers of it instead. Were we ready to become political? For a brief moment, the excess of our riot seemed to demand a decision we could never take back. n We betrayed our moment. The silence in the streets over the last few years bitterly confirmed that turning back remained more than possible for most of us.

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