Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism

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Edited by Cindy Milstein

AK Press

2015, paperback

SKU: 9781849352321

Taking Sides is a critical response to divisive debates within current movements against police violence and white supremacy, especially since Michael Brown's murder. These sharp interventions ask activists to avoid easy and safe answers and take on the hard work of building real grassroots solidarity across racial lines.

The lines of oppression are already drawn. The only question is, Which side are you on in the struggle against the violence that is white supremacy and policing? Taking Sides supplies an ethical compass and militant map of the terrain, arguing not for reform of structurally brutal institutions but rather for their abolition. Its thirteen essays are sharp interventions that take particular aim at the role of nonprofits, “ally” politics, and “peace police” in demobilizing rebellions against hierarchical power. The authors offer tools to hone strategies and tactics of resistance, and hold out the promise of robust, tangible solidarity across racial and other lines, because in the battle for systemic transformation, there are no outside agitators.

Reviews:

"Taking Sides is more than a book; it's a politic aimed at the heart of every radical struggling against a racist state." - Luis A. Fernandez, author of Policing Dissent

"Taking Sides is arriving right when we need it, a tool to infuse complex contemporary movement conversations with useful accounts of our movement histories and insightful analysis about how we practice solidarity. It brings deep thinking about recent flash points into ongoing dialogues about leadership, strategy, and infrastructure in ways that shed new light on difficult questions. Taking Sides is a sharp, brilliant tool for activists on the ground."  —Dean Spade, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law

"From the arresting title through thirteen brilliant essays, this reader is a gem. Alliances and the problem with ally politics, decolonization demands, a defense of riots, exposing gender violence, fighting back against police violence, and contesting white supremacy are among the timely issues presented in militant terms. The diversity of the authors gives depth to First Nations, African American, and immigrant views of the North American reality. This promises to be a handbook for every social justice activist."  —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

About the Author:

Cindy Milstein is author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations. Her essays appeared in Realizing the Impossible, Confronting Capitalism, and Globalize Liberation.