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

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 rebel of my own.

—The conflict, "White Riot"

Ten years after the conflict in Seattle sparked an ancient fight opposed to the forces of firm conglomeration and American imperialism, the anti-globalization iteration is able to think of 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 U.S. on the flip of the century, and he explores the relationship among political violence and the white heart category. equivalent components sociological examine and activist guide, Black Bloc, White Riot engages with the foremost debates that arose within the anti-globalization circulate over the process the prior decade: direct or mass motion? Summit-hopping or neighborhood organizing? Pacifism or range of tactics?

Drawing on move literature, modern and significant concept, and sensible investigations, Thompson outlines the impact of the anti-globalization move at the white, middle-class children who have been swept up in it, and he considers how and why violence needs to once more turn into a principal type 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 conception and Action. His guides contain Sociology for altering the realm: Social Movements/Social Research (Fernwood Publishing, 2006).

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According to Dyer, zombie movies exploit the simultaneity of white people’s fear of and fascination with death. indd 16 7/27/10 6:29:56 PM Our Riot, Ourselves 17 We assume they are zombies, since this is always how they have been shown in the film; yet, when the film cuts to a ground level shot of these figures, we realize that they are the vigilantes (all of whom are white) come to destroy the zombies. There is no difference between whites, living or dead; all whites bring death and, by implication, all whites are dead (in terms of human feeling).

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. At first, these tensions were expressed abstractly through antithetical pairs like “violence” and “non-violence,” “summit hopping” and “local organizing,” and “direct” and “mass” action.

What I am saying, however, is that there is a danger of mistaking specificity for exclusion. By not looking at the specificity of the movement (by not grappling with the interesting and sometimes difficult contradictions that arise when people with considerable social privilege adopt radical postures), we lose sight of the material shape of our struggle. Anti-racist theorists have for a long time noted that whiteness tends to get expressed as an abstract universal; as a standpoint that isn’t a standpoint; as something that goes without saying.

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