Full Spectrum Resistance, Volume Two: Actions and Strategies for Change

Full Spectrum Resistance, Volume Two: Actions and Strategies for Change

by Aric McBay
Full Spectrum Resistance, Volume Two: Actions and Strategies for Change

Full Spectrum Resistance, Volume Two: Actions and Strategies for Change

by Aric McBay


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A guide to direct action for those disillusioned with the posturing of liberal “activism.”

The radical left is losing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is the radical’s guide to activist work—the manual we need at this crucial moment to organize for universal human rights, a habitable earth, and a more egalitarian society. 

Thoroughly exploring the achievements and failures of radical movements throughout history—from 19th-century anti-colonial rebellions in China and the environmental actions of First Nations and Native American tribes throughout the 20th century, to Black Lives Matter and the fight for Gay Liberation—the two volumes of Full Spectrum Resistance candidly advocate for direct action, not just risk-averse models of protest marches and call-ins. With in-depth histories and case studies of social justice and environmental movements, noted writer, activist, and farmer Aric McBay explains why passive resistance alone cannot work, and how we must be prepared to do whatever it takes to create substantial social change. 

In Volume 2: Actions and Strategies for Change, McBay uses the successful strategies of various actions, such as the Greek Resisters of the 2008 Greek Television Takeover, to articulate the best practices for inter-activist coordination and communication with mass media to effectively spread message. Covering reconnaissance methods and other forms of intelligence-gathering, Volume 2 guides the reader in smart decision-making and damage control, such as how to recover from both covert and overt adversarial attacks, such as COINTELPRO (1971). Moreover, this manual clearly articulates the best strategies and practices for the financial, logistical, and tactical organization necessary to all successful radical movements in the long term.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609809287
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 05/28/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,122,068
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Aric McBay is an organizer, a farmer, and author of four books. He writes and speaks about effective social movements, and has organized campaigns around prison justice, Indigenous solidarity, pipelines, unionization, and other causes. You can find his work at www.aricmcbay.org.

Table of Contents

Volume One: Building Movements and Fighting to Win

Chapter 1 Why We Fight 1

Chapter 2 Fighting to Win 35

Elaho Valley 35

Victory and Defeat 44

The Iron Law of Involution 50

The Liberal Class 53

The Myth of Pacifist Persuasion 56

The Deacons for Defense 65

Cultures of Resistance 77

Chapter 3 Full Spectrum Resistance 81

Wimmin's Fire Brigade 81

The Overton Window and Radical Flanking 84

Diversity of Tactics 98

Disruption and Poor People's Movements 108

Movement Building 112

A Tug-of-war 124

Practicalities of Full Spectrum Resistance 127

Chapter 4 Recruitment & Training 137

Coalition for a Free South Africa 137

The Making of a Radical 140

Effective Recruitment 153

The Freedom Summer 165

The PAIGC and Amílcar Cabral 167

Train & Retain 173

Chapter 5 Groups & Organization 187

Stonewall 187

Institutionalizing the Riot 190

The Tyranny of Structurelessness 194

Organizational Tensions 197

1 Small vs. Big 201

2 Decentralized vs. Centralized 205

3 Informal vs. Formal 211

4 Consensus vs. Hierarchy 221

5 Open vs. Clandestine 226

6 Moderate vs. Militant 230

7 Anything Goes vs. Code Of Conduct 233

Other Organizational Factors 233

Organizational Snapshots 235

ACT UP 241

Chapter 6 Security & Safety 245

Brandon Darby 245

Tools for Security 248

The African National Congress 261

The Black Panther Party 272

The Weather Underground 277

Security and the Green Scare 282

Safety and Difficult People 293

What's to Come in Volume Two 305

Glossary 307

Appendix: Screening and Selection 313

Notes 319

Bibliography 331

Index 341

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