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 revolt 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 contemplate 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 classification. equivalent components sociological learn and activist instruction manual, Black Bloc, White Riot engages with the main debates that arose within the anti-globalization stream over the process the earlier decade: direct or mass motion? Summit-hopping or neighborhood organizing? Pacifism or variety of tactics?

Drawing on move literature, modern and significant concept, and useful investigations, Thompson outlines the impression of the anti-globalization circulate at the white, middle-class little ones who have been swept up in it, and he considers how and why violence needs to once more turn into a important type of activist politics.

AK Thompson is a author and activist dwelling and dealing in Toronto, Canada. presently finishing his PhD in sociology at York collage, Thompson teaches social conception and serves at the editorial committee of Upping the Anti: A magazine of thought and Action. His courses contain Sociology for altering the area: Social Movements/Social Research (Fernwood Publishing, 2006).

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The demonstration, which was called in opposition to the provincial government’s war on poor people, proceeded despite widespread uncertainty about the prospects for militant action in the aftermath of September 11. For MacDonald, there was no doubt that dissent was a cover for terror. “The way it works,” he pointed out with more than a hint of xenophobia, “is that the demonstrators first simply urge peace and disarmament. indd 35 7/27/10 6:29:57 PM 36 Black Bloc, White Riot But subsequent ‘spontaneous’ rallies and demonstrations are joined by more violent elements—perhaps even some Muslim groups” (October 17, 2001).

Citing liberally from the visual history of lynching, the last scene of the film sees Ben shot dead by the vigilantes. According to Dyer, Night of the Living Dead yields both horror and catharsis for white viewers who must confront their own ambivalent proximity to death. The political implications of Dyer’s analysis become explicit when one remembers the tremendous debt Romero’s film owes to the political climate— Black Power and civil rights—of the period in which it was made. Lest this foray into the overgrown (and over-fertilized) fields of psychoanalysis and cultural studies be dismissed as fanciful or idiosyncratic, it’s useful to remember the many antecedents to Dyer’s analysis.

I knew were he was, he insisted. If I grew a beard I would look like Bin Laden. I was holding back on telling him why I was going to the university and who I was going to meet there. If I didn’t want to go to jail, it was time to tell him the real story” (Clarke 2002). Although Austin and Clarke’s cases became frequent topics of conversation during this period, their experiences were far from unusual. From the beginning of the anti-globalization movement to its rapid demise, countless radicals (and many others besides) became familiar with the repressive capacities of state organizations.

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