All posts filed under: Left Voice

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The Role of Grievability in the State’s Monopoly on Violence

This post was originally published on Left Voice. You can find it here. The Stoneman Douglas mass shooting has launched a nationwide movement against gun violence. Student activists and their supporters have rallied in the hundreds of thousands across the country in acts of protest including school walkouts and at the end of last month, the March for Our Lives. On the surface, it’s hard not to agree with these organizers. As young people, they have brought a refreshing amount of honesty into political discourse by confronting mainstream politicians for being in the pocket of the NRA. They’ve managed to take the trauma they’ve faced and use it as a rallying cry for social change. For much of the American public coming out in support of a ban on assault rifles and other gun reforms is a no-brainer, but when we examine the specific policy demands set forth on behalf of the movement, there are apt critiques to be made. In doing so, we have the opportunity to pinpoint its shortcomings in securing conditions of nonviolence for …

Photo credits: Jason Redmond / Reuters

Harnessing Anti-Trumpism for More Strategic Resistance

This post was originally published on Left Voice. You can find it here.  Now that Trump’s first SOTU address has come and gone, we’ve hit a milestone for reflection on the ways that mobilization has and hasn’t happened. Trump and his cronies have already done their best to roll back any progressive reforms that have been made in recent times. They’ve pushed for legislations that will continue to draw wealth and agency from the working class and minority groups. These have included his motion to end DACA, the passage of a new tax bill that includes major cuts for billionaires, his efforts to replace Obamacare with a grotesque Republican variation on healthcare, and much more. No doubt, in his words and in his actions, in the legislation he supports and in that which he opposes, in the people he praises and the ones he degrades, Trump offers us a look at the US government in its rawest most authentic form, unmasked by rhetoric and genteel performative progressivism. As a result, we are at a unique …

© Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report/WikiCommons

What We Can Learn from MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign

Towards the end of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shifted from the civil rights agenda for which he is remembered to a new phase in his struggle for justice, the Poor People’s Campaign. It had five demands for the federal government: the creation of ‘socially useful career jobs,’ urban development projects, an end to punitive welfare policies, the protection of farmers’ rights to unionize, and the reallocation of public funds to educational programs. To achieve these goals, King organized a protest on National Mall. At 50,000 strong, the demonstrators erected a ‘Resurrection City’ where they camped for weeks, even though King himself was assassinated before the occupation commenced. The campaign was controversial with both King’s opponents and his allies. His opponents viewed his call for ‘a radical restructuring of wealth and power’ as proof that he was a communist. Being that this proposition followed King’s public condemnation of the Vietnam War, his Democratic political allies in the White House also found the new campaign to be too radical. Fellow members of the Southern …