In a 1966 interview on CBS, Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that a “riot is the language of the unheard.” King went on to say, “And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.” Seen as a paragon of nonviolent civil action, King’s perspective on the riots of the time was more nuanced than we are led to believe. Since King’s time, a few academic studies appear to make the case that nonviolent protest is strategically more successful than violent action. In his new book, “Street Rebellion,” Benjamin Case points out that reality, as usual, is far more complicated than we perceive. Benjamin Case is a longtime organizer with more than two decades in labor, political, and community work. He is a researcher at the Center for Work and Democracy, an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Sociology at UMass Amherst, and a fellow at the Resistance Studies Initiative.
“Street Rebellion: Beyond Violence and Nonviolence”
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