Tag: Protest

A Lesson in Protest: Teaching History and Citizenship in the Trump Era

This semester I am teaching a course called “Resisting State Violence: Race, Policing, and Social Justice in Twentieth-Century America.” One of the course objectives is to encourage students to investigate the histories of policing, surveillance, political repression, deportation, and incarceration, and the ways they intersect with racism, settler colonialism, xenophobia, economic exploitation, and sexism and… Read more →

100,000 Women in Trafalgar Square: Remembering The Forgotten Women’s March of 1979

On January 21 this year, thousands of people rallied in central London in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, along with millions of others around the world. These protesters were, of course, responding to the specific brands of misogyny and racism that are seen to characterize Trump’s America and Brexit Britain. And yet the… Read more →

Before the Pink Hat: Abolitionist (and Other) Objects of Protest

The point of public protest is to draw attention to something — to make the invisible wrong visible, and thus demand that we recognize and engage with it. To this end, protest and resistance movements have long made use of material culture, from murals to t-shirts. While by current prevailing wisdom we should phone our… Read more →

The Pill Kills: Women’s Health and Feminist Activism

On December 16, 1975, a group of Washington, D.C. area women’s health activists held the first-ever protest at the headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The demonstration took the form of a “memorial service” to commemorate the thousands of women who had died from using the contraceptive pill and other estrogen-containing drugs, and… Read more →

What Lies Beneath: The Handmaid’s Tale in Trump’s America

I first came across Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale in my junior year of college, when it was assigned for my feminist theory class. I didn’t know much about the novel, but I remember that the professor emphasized how relevant the book’s message was in 1985, when it was first published; in 1990, when… Read more →

From “Sip-in” to the Hairpin Drop Heard Round the World, Protests Can Work

Do protests work? Certainly they can make the participants feel that rather than passively accepting injustice they are doing something about it. But do they actually create change, or do they just enrage the opposition, which traditionally paints protestors as the equivalent of spoiled brats in mid-tantrum? While protests can be little more than acts… Read more →

Liberty Poles and Popular Protest in the Founding Era

As the Trump presidency begins, many Americans are considering how to oppose the harmful federal legislation that will likely follow his taking office. Some are bent on revamping the Democratic Party in the hopes of creating a robust opposition at the state and local levels, and retaking Congress in two years’ time. But others fear… Read more →

Protesting the ERA

Like many of my fellow Americans, I was glued to the television on election night. After months of the media and politicos enumerating the many reasons why Donald Trump would never win, I watched in shock as he became president-elect of the United States. The following morning, I learned that 42% of American women who… Read more →

The Black Panthers’ and Tom Hayden’s Lessons to the White Left in an Age of Trump

I often receive inquiries from white and non-black folks about how they can get involved in anti-racist organizing, especially after high-profile police shootings of African Americans. The requests for advice increased after Donald Trump’s election. I usually oblige because I always want to help, and I consider answering such questions to be part of political… Read more →

Why Stonewall Needs Compton’s

One night in August 1966, a group of trans* women and queer youth rioted against years of stigmatization and routine police harassment. It started at a popular all-night hangout, Gene Compton’s Cafeteria, a chain restaurant in the Tenderloin and one of the few places trans* women could relax. In 1966 dressing as the “wrong gender”… Read more →