From Joshua Clover’s Riot. Strike. Riot pg 2. He argues that the return of the riot reverses a long term trend observed by Charles Tilley, in which the riot had given way to the strike as the foremost tactic in socially available repertoires of contention:
As the overdeveloped nations have entered into sustained, if uneven, crisis, the riot has returned as the leading tactic in the repertoire of collective action. This is true both in the popular imaginary and the realm of data (insofar as such matters give of statistical comparison). Regardless of perspective, riots have achieved an intransigent social centrality. Labor struggles have in the main been diminished to ragged defensive actions, while the riot features increasingly as the central figure of political antagonism, a specter leaping from insurrectionary debates to anxious governmental studies to glossy magazine covers.
From the Guardian. A foretaste of more to come?
The French government has cancelled marches planned for international climate talks in Paris at the end of the month, citing security concerns.
All demonstrations organised in closed spaces or in places where security can easily be ensured could go ahead, foreign minister Laurent Fabius said in the statement.
“However, in order to avoid additional risks, the government has decided not to authorise climate marches planned in public places in Paris and other French cities on Nov 29 and Dec 12,” it said.
Environmental activists had hoped the marches would attract 200,000 people to put pressure on governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They have had to rethink their plans following attacks in Paris last Friday that killed 129 people. More than 2,000 protests in around 150 countries are planned during the talks.
Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of the campaign group Avaaz, said: “The police have just informed us that the tragic attacks in Paris have made the march there impossible.
“Now it’s even more important for people everywhere to march on the weekend of November 29th on behalf of those who can’t, and show that we are more determined than ever to meet the challenges facing humanity with hope, not fear.”
My friend Holly Falconer and I stumbled across this when walking through Trafalger Square on Thursday night:
I don’t recall ever seeing the Met do this before. Is it a new tactic?
Earlier today I came across this wonderful passage by Frederick Douglass in this book by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco:
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
– Frederick Douglass