The language of the unheard

Richardson, Brian

Publisher:  International Socialism
Date Written:  09/01/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22235

A book review of "A People's History of Riots, Protest and the Law: The Sound of the Crowd" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) by author Matt Clement.



Clement finishes his survey in the belly of the beast by considering events in the United States. It was here at the University of California, Berkeley, that radical criminology reached a real high-point. Members of the School of Criminology became actively involved in community campaigns against police repression, and supporting prisoners. Elsewhere in California another academic who became involved in the "maelstrom of resistance and repression" that characterised the late 1960s and early 1970s was a young Angela Davis, the firebrand black activist who, in 1971, successfully fought off a serious conspiracy charge.

Clements's book was completed at a time of renewed struggle against police brutality. Significantly though, Black Lives Matter emerged towards the end of the two-term administration of the country's first black commander-in-chief. The shortcomings of Barack Obama's presidency point to the need for a fresh approach. This is made all the more urgent by the sight of fascists and white supremacists revelling in the reactionary policies of Donald Trump.

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