In Defense of Looting (Paperback)

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A provocative refutation of the Good Protester / Bad Rioter dichotomy

In the best tradition of incendiary political pamphlets, this polemic tracing the history of looting and property destruction as an instrument of political rebellion is aimed like a stink-bomb at polite protesters. Beginning with violent abolitionist activity during before, during, and after the Civil War, continuing through the great labor disruptions of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, and extending into the Watts and Detroit riots of the 1960s, author Willie Osterweil shows how looting, sabotage, property destruction, and other forms of violent protest have been a constant companion of American social movements against white supremacy and capitalism--and have often helped spark progressive social change. Meanwhile, violent suppression of dissent and freedom struggles has likewise been a constant--modern policing emerges from fugitive slave patrols, which were after all a way to protest white property owners from the looting of their property (their slaves).

In an age in which not only the state but progressive activists use criticisms of "violent" protest to delegitimize resistance, In Defense of Looting opens a broader debate about the long history--and present wisdom--of a diversity of tactics in contemporary protest.

About the Author

Willie Osterweil is a writer and editor with The New Inquiry, and a member of the punk band Vulture Shit.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781784784256
ISBN-10: 1784784257
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Pages: 160
Language: English