Publisher: AK Press
Released: December 6, 2022
In a style that bridges the divide between academia and activism, Street Rebellion develops a broader and more accurate understanding of how people struggle for liberation.
Discussing violence and nonviolence as a binary—as distinct, mutually exclusive concepts—does not help us understand what is really going on when people riot. We are living in a time of uprisings. Across the world and all around us, movements are taking to the streets and challenging established power. These uprisings routinely involve moments of physical confrontation—burning vehicles and barricades, vandalism, projectiles thrown at police, and scuffles between protestors and authorities. Yet the Left has struggled to incorporate rioting into theories of change, remaining stuck in the recurring debates about violence and nonviolence. Civil resistance studies have popularized the term "strategic nonviolence," spreading the notion that nonviolence is counter-productive.
Street Rebellion argues that strategic nonviolence theory and research are misguided. Using data on protests from around the world and in-depth interviews with rioters, Benjamin S. Case pushes beyond the binary of violence and nonviolence, advancing the conversation and bringing new clarity to the study of resistance. Street Rebellion will be of equal use in the classroom and on the streets.
Praise for Street Rebellion
"For far too long the violence/nonviolence debate has been mired in abstract pontification and muddled terminology. Finally, we have Ben Case's incisive and meticulously researched analysis that captures the contextual utility of violent forms of resistance. Street Rebellion is truly a must-read for every activist and social movement scholar."
—Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook
"Street Rebellion strikes a precise blow to the current accepted dichotomy between violence and nonviolence and flips the entire field of civil resistance on its head. Ben Case has eloquently returned riots to their rightful place in the history of modern social movements. It's more than a 'must read', it's a must be read and reread for years to come."
—Akin Olla, contributing writer at The Guardian and host of This is The Revolution Podcast