On Nov. 19, Kevin Gosztola talked with Kris Hermes about his book “Crashing the Party” in the latest installment of our “Shadowproof Events” series. In his book, Hermes links the modern “playbook” police use to control and suppress dissent to the protests against the 2000 Republican National Convention:
Crashing the Party” explains how the events of 2000 acted as a testing ground in which Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney was able to develop repressive methods of policing that have been used extensively across the U.S. ever since. At the same time, these events also provided a laboratory for the radical, innovative, and confrontational forms of legal support carried out by R2K Legal, a defendant-led collective that raised unprecedented amounts of money for legal defense, used a unique form of court solidarity to overcome hundreds of serious charges, and implemented a PR campaign that turned the tide of public opinion in favor of dissidents.
While much has been written about the global-justice era of struggle, little attention has been paid to the legal struggles of the period or the renewed use of solidarity tactics in jail and the courtroom that made them possible. By analyzing the successes and failures of these tactics, “Crashing the Party” offers rare insight into the mechanics and concrete effects of such resistance. In this way, it is an invaluable resource for those seeking to confront today’s renewed counterintelligence tactics.
For about an hour, Kevin and Kris discussed the origins of the modern surveillance state, and the ways that police are able to dismantle or defang protest movements before they can reach the streets.
Listen using the player below, or find our recordings on iTunes by searching for “Shadowproof Presents.”
Don’t miss the next Shadowproof Event, Thursday, December 10 at 5pm EST. This time, Kevin will be talking to Antony Loewenstein, author of “Disaster Capitalism”:
Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help corporations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local community forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.
What emerges through Loewenstein’s reporting is a dark history of multinational corporations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valuable commodity.
You can also help spread the word by RSVPing to our Facebook event and and inviting your friends.