Publisher: AK Press
Released: July 11, 2017
This vibrant collection offers a reassessment of contemporary obstacles to mass mobilization, as well as examples from around the world of poor people overcoming those obstacles in inspiring and instructive new ways.
Why don't the poor rise up? Even mainstream media like the New York Times and The Economist have recently posed this question, uneasily amazed that capitalism hasn't met with greater resistance. In the context of unparalleled global wealth disparity, ecological catastrophe, and myriad forms of structural oppression, this vibrant collection offers a reassessment of contemporary obstacles to mass mobilization, as well as examples from around the world of poor people overcoming those obstacles in inspiring and instructive new ways. With contributions from Idle No More organizer Alex Wilson, noted Italian autonomist Franco "Bifo" Berardi, Cooperation Jackson organizer Kali Akuno, Cape Town-based anarchists Aragorn Eloff and Anna Selmeczi, and sixteen other scholars and activists from around the world, including a Foreword by Affiong Limene Affiong, Nigerian co-founder of Moyo wa Taifa, a Pan-Afrikan Women's Solidarity Network, Why Don't the Poor Rise Up? presents a truly global range of perspectives that explore the question of revolution, its objective and subjective prerequisites, and its increasing likelihood in our time.
Praise for Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up
"Each of these essays is a sharpened weapon for the battles looming large on the horizon."
—George Ciccariello-Maher, author of Building the Commune
"Combining the most creative thought from the global North and South, Why Don't the Poor Rise Up? promises to be an indispensable resource for understanding why the new revolutionary movement of the 21st century will emerge from the ranks of the most marginalized by capitalism and colonialism."
—Ajamu Baraka, editor of Black Agenda Report
“Capitalism is not the answer to poverty but rather its cause! This collection presents diverse global and radical perspectives on the poor and poverty, while demonstrating concretely how and why the poor do rise up! Importantly, the collection presents strategies for building social movements of the radical Left that are a meaningful alternative to the populist right currently in ascendancy.”
—Dr. Anna Kasafi Perkins, Catholic theologian, Kingston, Jamaica
"Why Don't The Poor Rise Up? Organizing The Twenty-First Century Resistance is a timely book in a period when the debates and mainstream thought about poverty and inequality are dominated by ruling elite ideas."
—Lloyd McCarthy, Pambazuka News
"Covering Indigenous struggle, race and policing, Black labour, the alt-right, and anti-poverty movements (in the North section) and anti-poverty, environmental, policing, and healing struggles throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Kenya, Sudan, and South Africa (in the South section), the book is wide ranging and offers new stories if not always new lessons for just about anyone."
—Élise Thorburn, Upping the Anti
"This book offers an excellent and wide-ranging contribution linking poverty to resistance from a variety of radical theoretical and geographical perspectives drawing examples and inspiration from very diverse social movements... I genuinely enjoyed reading this book, in large part due to the diversity and vibrancy of the movements and contexts that it examines."
—Rhiannon Firth, Anarchist Studies Journal
Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. He has over 25 years of experience in community organizing and advocacy. He is a former provincial Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario, and was a member of the executive committee of CUPE Local 3907 for six years. He was an active member of the CUPE Local 3902 at the University of Toronto, and served as a Vice-President of CUPE Toronto District Council. He was an organizer with the Toronto-based organization Network for the Elimination of Police Violence. His writings have appeared in publications such as the Toronto Star, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Huffington Post, Global Research, Rabble.ca, Pride newspaper, Briarpatch magazine, the Black Agenda Report, Truthout, NOW Magazine and Pambazuka News. He is a former columnist of the weekly Share newspaper that serves Toronto's African Canadian community.
Michael Truscello, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in English and General Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His academic interests include anarchism, the politics and poetics of infrastructure, petroculture, media studies, and technology studies. In 2013, he co-edited a special issue of Anarchist Studies on “anarchism and technology” with Uri Gordon. In 2011, he produced the documentary film Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity. He is the author of Infrastructural Brutalism (MIT Press).