Tag Archives: police

Why #JusticeforGeorge spurred a national movement

Certainly the Minneapolis police officer who crushed George Floyd’s neck with his knee, or the three other officers who stood by as it happened, had no sense that they’d face punishment, much less spark a national campaign against racial violence.  … Continue reading

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Statuary impacts: complex causality, the limits of social science, and striking Gen. Lee’s statue

In the wake of a dozen days and nights of protest against racialized police violence, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, that has loomed over the state capital’s Monument Park for … Continue reading

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Police, provocation, and protest

Bad policing poked an old open wound in American life, one that had suffered continual poking and scratching over the past few weeks, months, years, and turned thousands of people out into the streets in protest. Bad policing of the … Continue reading

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Protest, Riot, and Rebellion in Minneapolis

Protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis in response to the police killing of George Floyd. And they stayed. Some wore masks and tried to observe public health protocols for social distance. Some carried gas masks. Some broke windows of … Continue reading

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Repression/Concession Digression and Hong Kong

Social protest movements are messy collections of people and groups with different ideas about what they want and how to get it. They tend to do best when they can maintain some kind of unified presence in relation to authorities … Continue reading

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How activists should respond to the racist right: 1. nonviolent counterdemonstrations

Of course it’s heartening to see 40,000 explicitly anti-racist demonstrators turn out in Boston (August 20), dwarfing the assembly they were protesting against. Was it the best approach to countering white nationalist mobilization advancing in response to Trump adminstration policies … Continue reading

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How Trump encourages and provokes political violence

Donald Trump has done great damage to more than his presidency. With his remarks about the tragedy in Charlottesville, Trump dramatically increased the nourishment and encouragement he has been feeding the racist right. Activists respond to signals, and racist right … Continue reading

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Protest in the Trump era, part 1 of….

Donald Trump’s opponents didn’t wait for his election, much less his inauguration, to take to the streets.  As candidate and president-elect, Trump has been consistent in provoking organized protest. Over the past few days, activists have staged creative, disruptive, and … Continue reading

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Persistence, part I: Charlotte videos

The big story that activists always face is one in which authorities tell them that their efforts are inappropriate, ill-considered, and ineffective–or even counterproductive. (And, sometimes, they are.) It takes a certainty that comes from courage, social support, and stubborness to keep at … Continue reading

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UC Davis, the protest challenge, and history

Remember Occupy? At the height of the movement, students at UC Davis attempted their own encampment. Pepper spray appeared, like a pop quiz, as an unexpected and painful addition to the curriculum. The overly enthusiastic response of campus police made … Continue reading

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