Friday, February 01, 2008

Taught by the Lynne Stewart Chair in Revolutionary Law

Course description, "Law and Social Movements," Harvard Law School, spring 2008.
This course will critically examine the relationship between law and social movements, specifically engaging texts and materials that suggest a relationship that includes criminalization and cooptation. . . . Often in the legal profession and in legal academia, as well as in popular culture, we hear of the relationship between law and social movements primarily in terms of the use of legal strategies such as litigation and policy reform to secure rights and freedoms for oppressed and excluded groups. The materials used in this course will problematize the assumption that the primary role of law with regard to social movements is to support emancipatory progress. We will instead take the opportunity to look broadly at the meanings of key concepts such as discrimination, freedom, liberation, power, governance and violence as they relate to the stories that lawyers, movement activists, governments, and the media tell about the role of law in movements for social change. Our examination will engage “law” [uh-oh] beyond strictly jurisprudence and look at the construction of legality and illegality with regard to dissent. Our inquiry will aim to cultivate deeper understandings of the current parameters and possibilities within social movements given the incentives and disincentives provided by various technologies of legal intervention over the past half century.
Lots of vague verbiage in there, but you know what they're gettiing at. Law and Social Movements teaches one how to use the law to further the revolution. Selections from the reading list:

Chela Sandoval, Methodologies of the Oppressed; Miami Workers Center, “Four Pillars of Social Justice Infrastructure”; Balagoon, Kuwasi. A Soldier’s Story: Writings by a Revolutionary New Afrikan Anarchist; Gilbert, David. No Surrender: Writings from an Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner; Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, COINTELPRO Papers (sections on Black Liberation Movement, New Left and Conclusion); Thomas, Tom. “The Second Battle of Chicago”; “Special International Tribunal in Human Rights Violations of Political/POW Prisoners in the United States”; Churchill, Ward and J.J. Vander Wall, eds., Cages of Steel: The Politics of Imprisonment in the United States; Rosenberg, Susan. “Reflections on Being Buried Alive,” Peter Gelderloos, How Nonviolence Protects the State; Anna Agathangelou, Morgan Bassichis, Tamara Spira, “Intimate Investments: Homonormativity, Global Lockdown, and the Seductions of Empire.”


Screaming Queens
The Weather Underground
Guerrilla, the taking of Patty Hearst
Battle of Algiers
Malcolm X
Running on Empty

You come in here with your skulls full of mush, etc.

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