Melinda Cooper’s latest work tracks the politics of kinship in the era of neoliberalism, placing the centrality of “family values” discourse within the broader context of American social thought and post-Fordist economic transformation. In this interview, Viewpoint asks her about the key insights of her work and their implications for political struggles in the present.
Since Occupy, many have puzzled over the tendency of social movements, regardless of their original grievances, to revolve around an antagonism with cops and cages. In charting how a range of ruling class strategies – from urban redevelopment and the disciplining of migrant labor, to imperialist counter-insurgency – pivot on policing, this book helps explain why.
The eleven groups featured in our movement inquiry constitute part of what may be an emerging radical pole in the struggle for black liberation. Even in their analytical divergence and organizational heterogeneity, they yield the outlines of a revolutionary unity, opposed to separatism, whose ambitions exceed that of the misleadership both new and old.
The Black Panther Party was able to sustain disruption because the character of the practices that they had developed, that cultural technology of armed self-defense coupled with this anti-imperialism. It meant that the more authorities repressed them, the more they were able to gather broad allies, who otherwise wouldn’t have supported the party in the first place, but also had their own reasons to really feel threatened by the status quo.
Part workers’ center and part domestic violence resource center, the Mujeres Unidas y Activas space in East Oakland is demonstrating what it means to build a Latina immigrant women’s’ organization • It’s clear to those of us paying attention that gentrification is hitting the Bay Area particularly hard • The idea of providing immediate services to those locked up in jails and prisons is sometimes seen as a compelling and essential way to reach people inside • As a Guatemalan third-world left feminist with Marxist tendencies, I organize knowing the enemy • Sin Barras is a prison abolition group based in Santa Cruz, California.
At any major demonstration in Oakland, you will see police from all corners of the East Bay • I do clerical work at the University of Sussex • When I was attending Cypress Community College in Southern California, I worked at Labor Ready, a construction temp agency, so that I could pay for school • We are still finding lessons from the last cycle of California’s student struggle • I’ve been organizing with the California Student Union (CASU) project since its inception as a working group created during the first Southern California Education Organizing Coalition conference • Linnaeus is a city of lines straight and single.