Activism

Rebellions Get Results: A List So Far

Brian Bean

Rampart Mag

Today marks two weeks since George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis police and two weeks of revolt that spread into a nation-wide and ongoing American uprising against policing and anti-Black racism. As flames engulfed buildings and cruisers were destroyed alongside police precincts, some liberals have wrung their hands and bemoaned the rebellion, arguing that riots were counterproductive and less effective than “peaceful protest” or official channels. Similarly, some on the left have long had a tendency to undervalue the centrality of crisis and the swiftness of change brought about by rebellion. They argue that change takes place through gradualist means, that people naturally gravitate towards the path of least resistance, working through existing institutions, and long-term campaigns, especially electoral ones, to make change.

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