Contradictions of White Middle Class Dissent
Revisiting “Black Bloc/White Riot” in the Age of Trump
February 29, Saturday, 10am-2pm
AK Thompson’s classic Black Bloc, White Riot (2010) offered a provocative account of the anti-globalization protests that emerged in 1999 and outlined the effect of the movement on the white, middle-class kids who were swept up in it over the following decade. The book has been called “a manifesto” by George Katsiaficas (author of Subversion of Politics) and “important stuff” by Bernardine Dohrn of Weather Underground fame. Ten years after its first publication, the lessons of the political moment Thompson explored in Black Bloc, White Riot are newly relevant in the struggle against Trump-era politics and global fascist resurgence today.
This seminar with AK Thompson will provide an opportunity to revisit the arguments about representation, whiteness, violence, and the political presented in Black Bloc, White Riot and to reflect on their significance for radical left forces navigating the current terrain.
Facilitator: AK Thompson got kicked out of high school for publishing an underground newspaper called The Agitator and has been an activist and social theorist ever since. Currently a Professor of Social Movements and Social Change at Ithaca College, his publications include Sociology for Changing the World: Social Movements/Social Research (2006), Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent(2010), Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (2016), Spontaneous Combustion: The Eros Effect and Global Revolution (2017), and, most recently, Premonitions: Selected Essays on the Culture of Revolt (2018). Between 2005 and 2012, he served on the Editorial Committee of Upping the Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action.
Time: Saturday, February 29, 10am-2pm.
In-person cost: $90.
NOTE: We are committed to making our offerings of knowledge, dialogue, and community available to anyone who feels they can benefit from them. If you can not afford to pay the full amount, we encourage you to communicate with us by filling out this scholarship request form.
Readings: Ideally, participants will read in its entirety Black Bloc, White Riot. At a minimum, please read the Introduction, Chapter Five, and Coda. AK Press and Wooden Shoe books (704 South Street, Philadelphia) have kindly made the paperback available for this event at a 10% discount. Ask for the “union discount.” An ebook is available at AK Press.
In-person: Please fill out this form and pay below.
Black Bloc White Riot
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