Category: Protest: Past & Present

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 →

The Anti-Vaccine Movement, Bad Science, and the Rise of Fake News

Fake news was one of the biggest news stories following the 2016 U.S. presidential election. From climate change to abortion, health care to international relations, formerly fringe information hubs like Breitbart took on unprecedented mainstream importance. Could it be that a sizeable chunk of Americans were more persuaded by conspiracy theories and political rumor than… Read more →

Love and Rage

On November 2, 1992, members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) carried a dead body through the streets of Manhattan. The deceased was Mark Fisher, a gay man and AIDS activist who had died from complications of the disease he spent his last years fighting. His was the first political funeral staged… Read more →

“Your Presence Has Brought the Attention of the World”: Native American Protest and the Media

On December 4, 2016, Native American water protectors won a major battle against what they call the “black snake” — the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Department of the Army announced that the oil pipeline, which would pass near the source of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s drinking water, would not be drilled under a… Read more →

Bans, Boycotts, and Brawls: The 1970s West Virginia Textbook Controversy

To find tensions in American society, look at K-12 textbooks. Not in them, but in the debates they bring to the fore. In the wake of the Donald Trump victory and right-wing populism, the protests in Kanawha County, West Virginia from 1974-5 are worth learning about. At the Kanawha County Board of Education meeting on… 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 →

Keep On Marchin’ – The Women’s Marches of 1876, 1913, and 2017

I routinely listen to Slate’s DoubleX Gabfest, a podcast about women’s issues hosted by Hanna Rosin, June Thomas, and Noreen Malone. A few months ago, it focused on the planned Women’s March in Washington, D.C., the day after the presidential inauguration. Dismissing its importance, one participant questioned why anyone would want to take a bus… Read more →

Learning to Live Together: Murray Atkins Walls’s Fight for a Fairer Louisville

In the age of Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, and #SayHerName, it may seem pedantic or even a bit naïve to say that nothing happens in a vacuum and that movements are never, even when histories claim otherwise, singularly focused. Still, the demand that participants in protest actions be pure and purely motivated — to… Read more →

Nursing Clio Stands with Equality

Some of our favorite photos from the NC Editors of the 1-22-2017 Women’s March on Washington and other cities.

Silence and Noise: What AIDS Activism and Social Memory Can Teach Us

In the mid-1980s, when I was a twenty-something college dropout, I met people my age or older who knew a lot about history, about our history, the history of queer people. Part of this history included that of the men who were forced to wear the pink triangle in the Nazi concentration camps. And maybe… Read more →