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Why Don't the Poor Rise Up?

Why Don't the Poor Rise Up?

Organizing the Twenty-First Century Resistance

Ajamu Nangwaya (editor); Michael Truscello (editor)


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  • Publisher: AK Press
  • Format: Book
  • Binding: pb
  • Pages: 300
  • Released: Jul 11, 2017
  • ISBN-13: 9781849352789

Published by AK Press


"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

Even mainstream media like the New York Times and The Economist have recently posed the question: Why don't the poor rise up?, 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 theorist Franco "Bifo" Berardi, and nineteen other scholars and activists from around the world, 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.

Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D., is an educator at Seneca College with over twenty-five years of experience in community organizing and advocacy.

Michael Truscello, Ph.D., is an educator at Mount Royal University and author of the forthcoming book The Infrastructure Society.


Introduction: Why don’t the poor rise up? – Michael Truscello and Ajamu Nangwaya

Section One: "The Psychology of Oppression and Emancipation"

1.1 On The Spiritual Exploitation of the Poor – Nathan Jun
1.2 Society Without Sociability: Late Notes about Margaret Thatcher and Jean Baudrillard – Franco “Bifo” Berardi
1.3 “They’ve turned the guns on the people!”: Towards Healing: Confronting the Impacts of the Grenadian Revolution – Kimalee Phillip

Section Two: "The Politics of Resistance in the Global South"

2.1 Transpacific Affinities: Retracing Our Routes – Sarom Rho
2.2 In Defense of the Territory of Life: A Look at Community Police Territory in Guerrero through the Lens of Health – David Gomez Vazquez
2.3 Resourcefull Organized Communities Undermine Systems of Domination: How the Poor Rise Up in San Cristobal de las Casas – Erin Araujo
2.4 Defeating Invisibility: Black Women and Resistance in Colombia – Charo Mina-Rojas
2.5 On Fire and the ‘multiplications’ of the Poor in Mathare, Nairobi – Wangui Kimari
2.6 Powers of the Uncivil: Notes From South Africa – Aragorn Eloff and Anna Selmeczi
2.7 Engendering Revolt in the Anglophone Caribbean – Ajamu Nangwaya

Section Three: "Fanning the Flames of Resistance in the Global North"

3.1 Not Cooptation nor Charity: Challenges in AntiPoverty Organizing in Canada and the US – Lesley Wood
3.2 Behind Right Wing Populism, A Failed Revolution – Jordy Cummings
3.3 Idle No More: Restorying Hemispheric Resistencia – Praba Pilar and Alex Wilson
3.4 Obstacles for Racialized and Poor People in Bureaucratic Institutions Such as Universities – Ellie Adekur-Carlson
3.5 Bread and Circuses: Jesus, WorldStar, Assata and George –Thandisizwe Chimurenga
3.6 From the Dead Level: Resistance of the Black Lumpenproletariat and Working Poor – Kali Akuno
3.7 The Counterinsurrectionary Force of the Color Line – Ben Brucato
3.8 Cultivating the Radical Imagination in the North of the Americas – Alex Khasnabish


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