Author(s): Joshua Clover
Ferguson. Tottenham. Clichy-Sous-Bois. Oakland. In recent decades we have returned to an 'age of riots' as the prominent form of struggle against the abuses of capitalism. This theoretical and historical account by award-winning poet Joshua Clover explores how riots were the leading form of protest in the 17th and 18th centuries, were supplanted by the strike in the early 19th century, and then reemerged as the preeminent form in the early 1970s. From the early years of worker’s demands for increased wages through riots to recent social demands for economic equality through occupation, Clover also looks at historical moments like the economic crisis of 1968 and the decline of organised labour from the perspective of changes in protest tactics. As social unrest against government and corporate abuses continues to grow, this valuable history and theoretical framework will help guide future activists in their struggles for justice.