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Beyond Prisons Podcast: In Defense Of Looting Feat. Vicky Osterweil

Vicky Osterweil joins the Beyond Prisons podcast to discuss her new book, “In Defense Of Looting: A Riotous History Of Uncivil Action.”

Our wide-ranging conversation includes Vicky’s analysis of the claim that “real” and legitimate protests are nonviolent by nature, while rioting and looting constitute an act of hijacking by malevolent outside forces. 

We talk about Black women and armed resistance, and their places within the historical legacy of these tactics, as well as the differences in how these tactics are used by groups that have different relations to power. 

The conversation explores how these tactics threaten the perceived invincibility of property relations, we think about how prison riots fit within this framework, and a lot more.

Vicky Osterweil is a writer, editor and agitator based in Philadelphia. Her book, “In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action”, was released in August by Bold Type Books.

Follow her on Twitter @Vicky_ACAB

Episode Notes & Resources

Buy “In Defense Of Looting” from Bold Type Books

“I wonder if you fully understand why they’ve kept you so well hidden […] It’s not just because they want this idea of yours. But because you are an idea. A dangerous one. The idea of anarchism, made flesh. Walking amongst us.” — Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed


Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein

Edited by Ellis Maxwell

Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam

Theme music by Jared Ware

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Beyond Prisons

Beyond Prisons

Beyond Prisons is a podcast on incarceration and prison abolition that elevates people directly impacted by the system. Hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein.