Meredith Haggerty joins Jane and Matt to debate looting and corporate cooptation of social justice.
"One Author's Controversial View: 'In Defense Of Looting'" by Natalie Escobar, NPR
"Examining Vicky Osterweil’s Case for Looting" by Isaac Chotiner
Baby, I'm an Anarchist by Against Me!
Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior Correspondent, Vox
Jane Coaston (@cjane87), Senior politics correspondent, Vox
Meredith Haggerty (@manymanywords), Deputy Editor, The GoodsCredits:
Jeff Geld, (@jeff_geld), Editor and Producer
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is stealing bad things. Dealings medium, it's either
you got that right-
hello. Welcome to another episode of the weeds on the VOX media, podcast network, I'm Mathew with Glacius here today with Jane Costin and also a special guest Meredith Haggerty. She is the
Debbie, the editor of the goods, which is a exciting vertical at vocs outcome that you have probably seen on a website.
Dara is doing something I forgot. What going to the beach, I think, which is probably probably more fun than podcasting, but nonetheless really glad to have her with us. Meredith and I have been talking.
On and off for a while a bowed sort of Gloody
in, and vandalism and its role in protest and in our defence. We were talking about this before it became
like an hour and see hot button. Talking point, and so I
always say we're not like just slaves to the new cycle. Here is simply that the though the great wheel of the new cycle sometimes turns to two interesting subjects- and you know I don't know this- that sort of a lot to be said about this are, but just before the show I mean I thought Jane was actually making an interesting point about sort of this discourse: verses, verses. Reality,
So I think that my point here is. I expect at some point to get a very something email about about this, but I that the the people having this discourse, one of the challenges of being engaged in the discourse etc. About events is that the people having the discourse, namely us,
and these people what's argue who are committing looting and vandalism. Let's argue not us are again not us about not the people who are taking part in this discourse, and so I think that we ve seen our problem,
wait did they most talked about, and pr Interview and, like forty years was for an author who wrote a book essentially in defensive, looting,
who made a lot of suppositions, about the reasoning behind looting and the arguments that she made
in it that interview and in an interview with the New Yorkers Isaac Shatner, who is a person who is he
I'll. See you don't answer just don't. Do it don't pick up the phone but basically seem to argue that looting was an inherently political act and other people doing it were taking part in a political action that was one a politicized act and to act
one and that one that was necessary and one that was a arguable good. And
made a lot of comments, attempting to argue that I won't get too far into this. But let me
I say that I found her argument about how looting was like a queer Pham activity as a queer from person to be like a little ok, let's, let's
that down a little bit. But again it seems to be that in so many cases, if you were to go out and ask people who are taking part in looting activities, let's say on
And closer or in Minneapolis or any of the citizen, which we ve seen this taking place, and then you see the people later, who are talking about that looting or in some cases?
necessarily defending that? Are that looting about and sometimes engaging in an interesting looting? What about ISM essentially saying wilder
eluding was happening all along. Those are two entirely group separate groups of people, and so I think it's worth saying that, like the people who,
we are talking about committing these acts and the people who are defending these acts are two very different groups of people, and I think that that's worth getting out of the way, first and foremost well at least
potentially right I mean there's also so.
A long time ago is like twenty years ago, because I'm old I went to like anti to
so yeah the ninety in nineteen. Ninety nine that I remember and that I feel like because of nine eleven there's this weird period for the four four years beforehand, that lost lost time and I think about the WTO protest quite a bit, because that was my first understanding that, like the Pacific North
when things get while about their yes to. I was not in Seattle, but there
You know a similar actions, indifferent cities across Amerika, if you,
know what I'm talking about it. Ah, there's a good against me: has a Sancho baby, I'm an anarchist even captures this dynamic perfectly, which is that they were like a lot of people marching
you know, under the auspices of light, green peas and the Teamsters Union, like put political organizations, were like getting people to go.
Do these marches, because I forget even the details of what we were
you are given to the new world order, which is interesting because there is I've been really interested in conspiracy theories and history of conspiracy theories run off to get into this too much. But it is fascinating how both the right
and the left temporal grid that there is a new world order and an effort to create cuz. I wrote because that's around the time of discussion of Nasta, which came and more recently with the Pacific partnership and just serve the base about global trade in Jenner.
That, like they're kind of a right and left agreement, that NASA is, is bad
New world order is bad and we both know what the new world order is. I remember, like my interpretation of the co protest, seemed to be that, like rage got machine seem to be into it. So I was like
that bad Tom Morello wouldn't lie to me, but yeah very much. I remember this being about that. Okay, I have a serious point. I'm going to park this and hand it to you,
because? Okay, so so? Okay, so there were a lot of people from fairly mainstream. Liberal groups is what I'm saying opposing this and it was. I guess it was technically about you know
Implementation of the Uruguay round of the general agreement on tariffs and trade, which is
say was about some specific changes that were being made. That groups felt would undermine environmental protections and labour reductions and there was a march and we would just sort of supposed March, but then the were,
Other group of people who, at the time we called black block, I think today
you might call them anti fire, but then,
There were two things about them that distinguish them from the bulk of the crowd. One
is that they would famously in Seattle they were smashing the windows of star boxes. I was in Boston, so we have Duncan doughnuts tuck totally different, but the other thing is it: they were a baby. This is a tactical difference, but also, if you,
ask them. Why do you think smashing? The windows of this Starbucks will help persuade Congress to delay implementation of the Uruguay round of the general agreement on tariffs and trade. They would say like fuck, you were protesting. Capitalism right like they came to the protest because they thought the exist
is a large protest was an exciting moment till I get
the streets get people participate, but they were true
the conversation to a different subject, and these people were
I mean this was politicized like they were not smashing. Starbucks
because they wanted free coffee. I don't think it was like
sound political tactic, but leave really was what like they were trying to do something and in particular, like that they were true
to elevate this discussion out of the like technical intricacies of trade negotiations into like capitalism was fourteen
in eighteen, eighty nine, when this was happening, and I feel like this sort of played into the leg, we're looking for me like a deep litigation of millennials, almost like protest at that time was often seen as like. I know now: white kids, smashing Starbucks windows for something is
to purchase something as as capitalism and is unwieldy and that it was a little bit meaningless, a little bit fatuous a little bit like TED Cruz. So a tweet yesterday I think that was like when Ashley from, like you know, Evergreen
it realises like how serious polluting will. But you know it's that right is also. His argument was that you should use the Rico statute to go hungry people which are like we needed. I hate had Cruises twitter field, though much there's a lot going on their right, but that that idea that, if you know this like it's a,
who's in over her head, like a little white girl with a fancy, spelled Ashley name, and I think a lot of that, at least for me and my conception of protest in my conception of like how one would want to fight against the system work. If a system is able to be fought against did comes
from the WTO protest in the way that I think they were a little bit of. They ended up being a little bit laughed at at the time like in the popular culture. So I think that there are a couple things that I want to
two, but first off I wanna get up because one of the things that the Deputy O protest,
Did I remember, and even with occupy Wall Street or some of the other protest movements of the last twenty or so years, is an understanding from observers that now
necessarily that, like ok, looting, morally questionable, which I think is that I feel that is pretty true. But the author of this book seem to think it was not true, but I think that for our purposes we should get into whether or not it is,
a factual and the understanding that, as hazmat said, the idea of like ok we're in a smash these windows to fight capitalism. We are not smashing windows to postpone the inaction of the specific trade policy. We are not smashing windows to, especially because I think in this particular moment, where do you see looting taken?
with the understanding that I have- and I feel pretty confident about, is that the effort to foment large scale, police reform
say, eliminating qualified immunity. I do not think that that would be moved forward by smashing the windows of banks and or businesses.
But the people who are doing that, like Antigua or in many times its people with no political purpose whatsoever, its people who are like that you're we seek out of the black Box activists in Portland and elsewhere,
but that also you see people were armed where you're just like. Oh it just let it go. Fuck and find a throw a brick through a window, but I think that the political effectiveness of that is, I think, a marker that that, for instance, in the book, there's a critic
of non violence and of non violent action as being ineffectual and arguing that actually looting is what got civil rights work done, which is a very interesting interpretation of the Watts riots obliging sixty five, but also that that looting represents the accurate response to what some would view as the whole held a wholesale corruption of the entire system that, if you want none
protest, you can like change. The diversity standing is of police and you can eliminate qualified immunity and reform the ESA chokehold. But if your leg, actually the entire system is bad, then there is the risk
and I don't really know what to do with it. I think that these are the questions that I think I'm interested in personally, because, like so I was thinking about like I, so I am and ended up with the goods. I see almost everything
lens of consumerism. It is totally broken. My brain when I like, observed the
initial round of living in Minneapolis at the target. My first thought was like: oh, are we purchasing capital
then what gives it happening is the thing I've sort have been waiting for happening now, which I was wrong. That is not,
we were doing. It did bring up discussions. We have just like how does one per does couples and effectively like is theirs?
Is there a way to effectively protest as big as the system is something as large as this kind of exploitation and oppression, and the way that capitalism is able to subsume that protest has been fascinating to me personally and specially in the last like fifteen years, as we've watched, I don't know as we bought into the idea that you can vote with your dollars
first. I think, which is something that I'd like to talk about all the time that we sort of new thing you can buy your weight, you you can buy.
Way out of an exploitative system which, in Geneva,
put a pin in a couple of the points raised about like real political motives and ends up in here, because it's it's worth thinking about. What's on the the
Other side of that right, like there was this very striking, should have one
day. Work stoppage at the NBA after James and
clearly. This is an issue that the players feel strongly about. Lebron James had been engaged in a lot of political topics, but like this is something that you know. Police violence is selling that impacts young black men very directly, forceful,
even if they become wealthy athletes, they're, given numerous examples on the Milwaukee bucks of players being stopped and harassed and injured by police, because it turns that place, don't they might recognize you, but they don't particularly
care right. So you have a lot of engagement on this topic and part of that
terms of like restarting the NBA in the bubble where, like they have like black lives matter, is like written on the floor there and they have these sort of like social justice,
slogans on their jerseys, the league is like trying to get players to buy in at
any of the leagues owners are like large donors to Donald Trump and too.
Congressional republicans who were blocking some of the kinds of legislative changes that Jane.
Talking about they did this. This works
and then Barack Obama
who is obviously like eight like a.
Pro system figure right, while also
What who cares about issues but like is definitely not trying to like burn
country to the ground. He helped broker like a cease fire that involved the you did the players,
back to playing and a bunch of a Rina is now are going to be used as voting sites, which is a sort of important thing, but the whole premise there, like a bomb as whole premise, is that like engaging with electoral ism is what you should be
doing with your time. The NBA is just like trying to make money right, like they're, trying to
he used the players they're dealing with the fact that they have a more liberal fan base than other sports leagues and they
every one. To believe that participating in this commercial activity is like
a way of advancing social justice and, like I dont, think that that holds up really like I, I love basketball and I also think people should vote
a member but the connection between those things and the topics that are a step
The blue being addressed seems actually like really thin to me and some other companies it's like is even worse. Yet. Many think the question of like one is a factual also depends on like what you're trying to a fact which people are a kind of act. Different types of different types of change and different types of systems being questioned ultimate
a lot of these things, I think, feel really status quo, reaffirming like the NBA, like you know, buying a teacher that
Anticapitalist Logan on it or whatever the most ironic thing. A person can do that. I love to think about, but yeah it's like what is the effect you
to have- and I think there is not necessarily as much agreement about that- video- that anything that looting or any protest action is inherently anything I think a sort of divorced from like who is doing at how it's happening it like it is. Everything is so specific and nuanced. But looting is interesting as a topic when people are very eager to point out that they know that it's bad that's, dealing as bad early guess doing
stones, bad kind of worse, but I come from a country that, like started with the tea party, is quite clearly. We have may be slightly more complicated feelings about looting than we are for us is stealing bad things Jones Medium.
That's the thing right think is right because, like there is one view this is not my view but, like you know, there's a view that, like
The existence of private property is the real violence right yeah, I think we sort of have a disease relation.
To a property in general, as a country like before any of this, our like relationship, consumerism, his leg when it's done to the environment, what it's to human rights when it's done too late, wave
across the world like there's some real things to be concerned about with property, I would also say, read so we'd psych peaceful protest is a word that I really don't like, because
all kinds of projects that we look back on the right are favourably right. Word disorderly
so, like a sit in at a lunch counter. It's not violent right, like we get the phrase like nonviolence from Martin from Martin Luther King
snake. You know who were organizing those citizens,
We believe interpretation of those citizens and protest at the time was that these were deep, like there's, a famous editorial cartoon, a Martin Luther King being interviewed recent
we're going to have another non violent protest and it's very Ben garrison style and that everything behind them is labeled
burning city and complete chaos, or something like that, because I think that the challenge with protesters that protests inherently disrupt order, as you interpret it. So, if you're blocking
if you're sitting in the middle of the road. If you're doing
something that is not whatever was supposed to be taking place. There is a view
is interesting to see how this is interpreted by some people. On the right, who also value the use of protests secretly, that was aimed at the government, but this idea that essentially ok, your peaceful protest as interpreted by us, are good.
At a certain point. You get to the point where technology there is basically no form of acceptable process, as we ve learned in discussions about the NBA Indiana fell where
well kneeling that good and walkouts aren't good and attempting to get arenas to be used is voting. Locations is bad, but their basically is nothing that you could do. That would be a sign of like an acceptable side of protest to something
but I think that one of the challenges I have- and I want to talk a little bit more specifically about what's been happening more recently, the looting and instances in Kenosha and elsewhere. I am not as old as
but when I was in grade it was April two thousand and one, and I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio you're in grade in two thousand and one yes,
even I'm that doesn't come on yet it was terrible to go to you any. Actually it wasn't a house the on time. At all. I just remembered, like I wish it. I was very anxious, arbitrary but anyway so
an unarmed black man intimacy Timothy Thomas, was shot by place in society and thus began two weeks of pro
and also rise like there's an example of like a white truck driver, getting dragged out of his truck
and all this happening allow these protests about that.
I want to separate that protests and the rights were two separate things, but being an eighth grade. It just all seemed disorderly to me
because I valued order also as I was in eighth grade, but I remember
we're thinking back and you saw on YO. I note this gets into the the current discussion about capitalism, the critique of capitalism, but one of the challenges that was then created was it. There is a long standing move one and overall boycott of downtowns. Isn't it
businesses in response to police violence, but also a shifting away of resources- and I would argue care from downtown Cincinnati kind of basing the argument that the people down there- I don't care about their community- that it's not worth it- that that that downtowns, its nettie was lost in some way. And so I really am concerned about the long term ramifications of writing and of looting because of how it impacts. Not just
Communities there now, but the communities there to come, and so in that idea I remember feeling a deep sense of overwhelming embarrassment that the first time that I saw my city on national television in a way they did not have to deal with our beds.
James was for this- and I remember watching ABC News with Peter Jennings and they had like a drive through through downtown Cincinnati that made it look like,
to create or something like that- and this idea of a thousand society is an area need to stay away from. And, moreover, you stay to stay away from the people there. They need to pool resources out of downtown Cincinnati because those people they.
Their own spaces. They looted their own homes, their own stores. They can't be trusted. There shouldn't be expanded, bus access to downtown Cincinnati, there shouldn't be expanded, anything down Cincinnati, and this is something that impacted the downtown or since I for pretty much my entire experience.
Being in high school, I graduated in two thousand and five, and only I said last fifteen years,
has has that idea? What what downtown wasn't? Even what downtown constituted, has changed, and so
I think that one of the challenges here we ve seen in some of the pulling that when you talk to black voters and about I say, police violence, their ideas, essentially that we are simultaneously under placed in over police, but also that the idea of why this means to the city is for this is taking place. What it means to control show what it means to Milwaukee. What it means to downtowns is not that it is at this one,
and it is a representation of long standing, violence of longstanding sincerity of his long standing bad acts by the Society Police Department. There have sense resulted in some reforms, but
arguably not enough, but also that that then fermented a real downturn in the fate of downtown
that did not benefit the people there who had already endured so much, and so I think the challenge here is that again the people who are doing the looting might be disconnected from the politics of it, but also the people making the politics of looting. Putting that first and foremost are divorced from the people who must endure later, and I keep referring back to this and Pr Interview, because
was that the touchstone for a lot of commentary on yield internet but her argument centuries, equal spot small, but business owners are bad, and then she urged argued the Isaac Shatner that small business owners were the equivalent of slaveholders, which was weird small, small slaveowners.
Nah slaveowners should be clear, but also the fact that that is not an argument that people who live in any of these communities are making, and I think that that is something that really gets me about. This is that
whether or not it is representative of a politically effectual or ineffectual movement? The people who are most affected by it are the people who will see who will see resources lost because of the perception of what their community is or whether community does. Let's, let's take a break and then I think Meredith has sunk. She wants to say yes,
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not a lender terms and program rules apply so I'll say. I have also seen my city on the news in the host riding post looting and it's because I grew up in Massachusetts and
Spain has done that for my compatriots when insuperable. I think the lot of this is like air. It is about like the narrative.
We cast living in and the problem of like where we put personal responsibility after something like this after looting were like the looters should have known that this was like a bad
narrative that they're helping to create that will been disenfranchised them. But, like ultimately, I mean what is it living as an expression of a lot of things and the problem for being a player and the people who can fix those problems are still not like white people.
To them. The conversation that we're having about looting instead of the conversation that we're having about the problems that create loading is frustrating I just
we're having the wrong conversations or that we have a conversation about living. We keep having a conversation apportion responsibility generally, so I was singing wait. I always like to talk about visual
on a podcast, because it's perfection right, but you could probably think of like
get to buy two schema of like protests, sort of concepts and and how they relate and like on one axes,
You tell me about increasingly confrontational disruptive move swayed, so what I think we didn't have in some reds era that recovery common today is like you go to the park department. You get a permanent
and then you're having your demonstration with your permit and there's like twelve guys with a sign right or it's a scheduled marsh and there's very little disruptiveness? It's quite a quote,
peaceful protest- am, I think, there's some studies actually of they look like rain as an instrument and tea party protests in the twenty Twond midterms, I'm in those kind of minimally disrupt your protests, do work actually cause they
they get you on the local news and you can talk about. You know what it is, but it is you want to do, but then you can kind of go up the ladder right,
where you are you're blocking traffic
you're, doing a sit in at a business. Why you you're breaking the law is of up to o K. You are actually breaking thing: sprite you're! Not do you not occupying a space? You are damaging or
you are taking things you're stealing you know up to and including there have been politically motivated assassinations right, and so that's like a long
And somewhere in between is probably like, you set the police car on fire or use at the police precinct on fire.
Then another axis is like targeting
when you do a sit in at a segregated lunch counter. The point is that that specific lunch counter is segregated and you are protesting segregation right, you're, not just doing like
shit you're like actually talking in. Even when you do something that I think most people would find extreme like setting a police car on fire. If you're protesting the police there's at at least a clear, direct
between like police cars and the police, department or vandalized confederate statute is right is like
way of protesting those statues and, of course, like the Lord
ideas behind them, but it's like its directly targeted part of what is
troubling to normal people about
sort of vandalism and property destruction in the course of protests. Is that it's both extreme and fairly untargeted. It's not obvious that
the shops in Chicago's miracle. My all like have anything to do
the structural inequities of the Chicago Police Department,
but also possibly they do right. Like that's the way, I think that's
like under theorized element here
exactly where landing it that's a place where you're getting arrested along,
where people are particularly targeted for, like you know, shopping while black, which has certainly like phenomenon.
That we've seen in our department stores. Then I think there is something or, if you're talking about a a
box store that comes into a neighborhood and displaces mom and pop shops and gives people
war wages and exploits men takes money and files it out of the community which so many of these businesses are like. I'm nothing. That's exactly what's happening, I'm saying if there is an interesting locust for the promoter, and I think it's telling that you know when people are like they're like trying to make me
as to why look bad, though, like ask her about small businesses, because that's it
like the tough question to answer, but it's a you can bracket that right, like there is damaged on
in in my neighborhood one of those shops I got smashed up back in April. Was the cv us and say what you well about CBS at this is like the opposite of mom and pop. They used to be mom and pop drugstores and others not like only in north in North Dakota Chow
drug stores are illegal and so mom and pop to have the pharmacy, but in them
to the world you got
Walgreens any got CBS right and like even
Even Dwayne Reed has been been sucked up into the into the maw of chains, and then the question is is like
is that good right? Is that, like a form of political resistance, or is it just like
Massey nonetheless, because, like CBS, is a very unsympathetic target right. If I went up- and I was like trying to make, people feel bad for like the share,
holders of this impersonal retail corporation, whose like customer sir
is terrible and all kinds of things like that, like it'd, be tough and all these things like, while they got insurance, know Bobby blah blah at the
time? It's like you know, but
in DC for a long time? It's like precise.
In the most tenuous neighborhoods that, like see, vs will be like the one store right. It's like one that opens up.
You're only site somewhere on the map, like somebody, is willing to put a financial investment in
community, and now there's a place you can buy. Curios and like do you
to drive that up. Do you want to send the message to multinational corporations like this community doesn't want to here, or is the bounty of global capitalism? You know something we should be thankful for yeah. I think that it's also worth noting that, like again the tenuous exploration,
argument to edit like like, is what a you like. A college libertarian was not was not a college libertarian editor in chief of a libertarian conservative newspaper. Those are two different things to be clear, but I think that its worth noting here that even the explanations will get like if you ask people who were in the process of smashing.
Are you doing this because of x reason? I feel like the explanation you would get is like not really it just is like it's a thing that
are taking part in because I think that one of the challenges here is that I keep thinking about like if we
trying to foment and action. I know that we ve gotten into this discussion a little bit earlier, and I know that this is the idea of like a protest nearing to have a cause or a desired effect is questionable, but also like, if you are attempting to get a thing done, if you are so, if you are protesting, big bucks stores moving into small and middle income neighborhoods smashing up those businesses does not then result in the influx of small businesses.
I am aware that there is like a lot of discussion about what this means, but I feel like there's a discussion about what this means and then there is what actually is happening, and I think that one of the challenges here just to get a little bit of wider and scope, is that the perception of what this looks like gets itself into a by four created perspective, and I ll give you an example: there's been alive
of writing about how New York is a den of evil and it's basically it's descended into madness and chaos, and a lot of this came up and someone who posted this long post on Linkedin and then Jerry Seinfeld responded in the New York Times. But then people are like
if you live in the Hamptons, how do you know? But this idea that you get of people who are talking about like Washington, DC's on fire and then Matt and I can look outside
of our windows, and yet this is not on fire, and you have journalists who are like by
around the capital or like walking through fourteen TH street and they're, like everything here seems fine. So you get this kind of bifurcated response, which is that either the riding symbolizes, the downfall of american cities and everyone should white flight, four zero or actually
All of that is wrong, and everything is totally fine and we're all having wine in the grass, and neither of those is true, but neither of them is one hundred percent false either, and I think that that gets into the work that we do, how these events are perceived and the idea of whether or not they play in
a political narrative or play into a political anti narrative, I think, is also important. But I think then, that occasionally that leads to the same kind of backfilling that you see the people who are like
either. New York has fallen into it.
A Gomorrah or New York is absolutely fine and nothing is wrong where you have motivated reasoning on both sides, and I think that what we are seeing with the entire converse,
about what looting means or even if it means anything or has two. I think you see motivated
reasoning there, where you see the postings about it,
national review, our like we're
sending the moraines, because simultaneously this very week, but very strong Antigua agents who are paid for by God knows whom are burning down american cities. And then you read something else here
people living in american cities, like I don't feel like. We've been burned down, so I think they get like that motivated recent, especially
in an election year where everyone's reasoning is in an inherently motivated to a political purpose or be opposite political purpose. I think that discussion is worth having her at home. I have evidently that's where the discussion,
I feel like we're having let me down a lot of the time I guess when you're, seeing like Joe Biden or Jacob Prey or whoever it is, come out and denounce looting. It feels like an easy sort of it feels like we're
not having a discussion. We need to be having about why these things are happening
in the same way and an end to a leg is an easy way
point of light hey. I still care about law and order, and I still care about justice in this way. Isn't it feels like
I am writing number one are always linked together, which is not on.
Necessarily true and interesting to me and to that like yeah, the conversation that we end up having about it and the motive,
the conversation that we end up. Having about ITALY, the motivations are different, Oliver, the patent map and no one's are great and people are terrible. I do hope that New York sort of goes down the toilet, so the rent wool drop, and I can, by way of forged like by an apartment
but you know, I don't know it would be funny. You know, writing organized by real estate speculator
just like turn it on turn. It off scoop up scope of some some properties that a bargain in Brooklyn, but I think
there's a connection to policing issue. Is you know both in terms of like what is protested against browser? How some of these things
are handled like there was one or two evenings in New York back back in the day when
It looked to me. I mean I was not in New York, but I was just following things that were going on and on, and I know people who work in city government and it appeared that the and, why pity, had decided to put its resources into policing the pros.
Right and kettling people and stuff like that, trying to disperse protesters while
leaving the midtown shopping district on policed
that they could then say the next day see
You see what you got here and that's because there's
people will say. Oh look other treating this group backward but like this is an obvious difference between there's a police presence at any kind of protest
but if your demonstrating against the Uruguay round of the World Trade Organization, like maybe the cops, don't care
If your demonstrating against, if your demonstrating for a conservative political cause, the police may agree with you and if for demonstrating against the police department, then like, of course to his divine. We don't want your protest to be successful and that's not like, ah fuck the cops like its common sense. It's like! No! If somebody did a protest against vocs, I wouldn't be like. Why really want this to go? Well right, like that, you know. If you know baby, the police officers are right, maybe they're wrong, but like by definition, they don't want to see major reforms to how these things work. So it's in their interest to do what they can to essentially sabotage things around
you know it s when I would tongue in the last show about just like d policing in general as a response to these movements, and it varies from place to place where so like in Portland, we ve seen a kind of like entrenched, combat,
tea and radical protesters and a police department. You saw you know in Minneapolis, after George for died or in Canosa averaging Blake was shot, would seem like fairly spontaneous sort of community movements, but then you Pew saw in New York, and I anything you also saw in DC. You know big organised protest movements that police departments reacted too
and awaited suggested. You know they didn't didn't. Cortical want to see looting, take place.
They were like kind of glad. You know it was either
making a point for them and
you know mean I so this in my neighborhood so is like
Why were their dozens and dozens of cops? One evening, sir
rounding protesters on swans
like swarming them right, while meanwhile like three blocks
The way just like some guy with a candle graffiti
was like running around tagging stuff everywhere right and it's like
So that's a decision about how to use law enforcement resources just like President Trump. You know when he put
people to like go on television and be like. We think all this writing is really good for us, like that, raises questions about your management of the situation as a government
official and like I don't know how to I don't want to see,
The stories in my neighborhood smashed up but like I also don't want to see the people.
Using like order. As a concept actually welcoming
disorder, because its
excuse not to make any kind of change right, especially because I think it's just to get into this little bit that we've seen.
Police unions and less than benevolent benevolence associations of police that
and the many major cities where this has taken place. There very
she's an idea that, if the police, essentially let some of this go, the understanding is, I feel it's it's like a mob shake down of like nice city. You have shame if something happened to it, and so the police here are actors and they are not like. We occasionally think of their actions are the actions of law enforcement, though I hopefully lessons Deston, thus now as being kind of neutral arbiters in these examples, but we ve seen numerous times in Portland and elsewhere, where the police will tell right wing groups like you can go on ahead of this. What's going to happen here and essentially focused our attention
left wing groups, and I think that that is a separate issue, because, especially when you have an understanding from the White House that, if Kelly and Conway as saying that the worst things get the better it is for us. I think that that raises the element here of a how there either each party in this conversation seems at best deeply flawed. I think work more we're talking about a system that doesn't work for people and has not worked for people for hundreds of years and the continues to like as
Jeanne actively just like plunge people up and ruin their lives, an impression and exploitation and in all this and then we ask sort of way or whose right
these narratives. I think I specially used it like the the weeks that the police in New York City were killing protesters on
Brooklyn Bridge and letting you know the bright and shiny windows. A fifth avenue get smashed up where some of the scariest cause it felt I or for me at least as, like you know, a white idiot like living in Brooklyn
I finally understanding the ways that police would act against against the public. Populous became incredibly clear. So is like an interesting narrative
respect him to where I had never really seen this personally, in the way that I I thought in this week's like how does any of this
out of work, whose working on like what story is a telling. I think there,
like a little more nuanced, there then sometimes you understand the second other break, and one returned to this
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asked, features of one thousand plus integrations became, must have for anyone wanting to track manage to tackle their work in one place and two hours back with click up trade for free today, click up that palm slash the weeds. So I mean I do think that, like the theme of capitalism, you now is is a certain important one here, not citizens of of baronets. But when you see
it's not a coincidence that some of the lost a lot of the locus of radicalism on this topic in the streets has been in the Pacific Northwest, where, if you look at a map of the United States
Portland and Seattle, and especially Portland, is not like
around zero, for where black people live among them
again. City is interesting. Lay that that happen
on purpose, because Oregon's constitution for bad black people from living in the state. Yes, but
So these are cities that are known for, like left wing politics, rag in general. Right and
because you you can do this in a like ha ha kind of way. There's a bunch of white people, but like also like it is right like there are many politically
moderate african Americans who
are upset at the way the police tree black people and
like to see changes made to that not only,
related Lee, but like fairly separately, there are also political radical
who see anytime
and people are getting out in the streets and protesting as like an opportunity to like do radical politics and- and I feel like guinea for better or worse, like that's pretty clearly what's happening in Portland,
This is not a super tightly linked to act.
An american community specific concerns about police, say right, like these are people with far less political, but like it's. It's both not surprising that Joe Biden would denounced them and its also like cheap talk because, like these are people whose political agenda as they do with Joe Biden yeah. I think that that get sat on the political situation of this of it in an inherently political act in this
and we're taking part with political actors means that there is definitely an understanding that, in some way that, like Joe Biden, has to take responsibility for this taking place, despite the fact that Joe Biden has about as much to do with black black anti FA as Antigua has to do with Joe Biden. It is interesting to me, though, that the people again, who have the opportunity to think about capitalism as a system and think about a world without capitalism which keep in mind, is a system. It is interesting to me because
there's like the capitalism that we see eyes like a large scale entity and then there's two have small scale: capitalism, which is the interactions and the financial interactions that we have with individuals all the time. But the people who are able who are thinking about this and who are thinking deeply about this and even making arguments against it, are often not the people
for whom capitalism is harshest, because when you are washing dishes or working at target, you may not have time to be contemplating whether or not capitalist
Is there isn't working for you? You are thinking about how best to work within capitalism, and I think that in some ways that's why the explanations I've heard for this kind of bother me because it the saved, like the people who are
most within a couple of system one. I remain unclear as to like what these alternatives would look like. That would in some way benefit them more so than it with some half benefit
the people who are always better off in any system like the nomenklatura
Okay up matter, no matter what happens, I it's worth noting worth noting that big class element here, which is why I think TED Cruz's TED are tweets, are so stupid because assumption that assumption that people who are involved in black are action, are all secretly rich and have secretly have parents who would pay for lawyers to help them with something which
I've known just enough anarchists teens to know that parental involvement, it stopped being a thing for a lot of them real early, which is why they found the community. They did. But I think also the idea of how to engage with these systems that surround us and pervade when you are attempting to do so on behalf of other people, for whom these systems are extremely harsh. How to think about how to do that? That benefits the other people, perhaps more than it benefits yourself and even if it doesn't look the way that you would want to. I think that that's an important point to raise. Nor do I think, that's
Our way, important point has also just like, is incredibly complicated to think what actions or media, or here like, as you know, is it a lot higher minimum wage? Is it like a system of control
that doesn't create as much waste in the environment,
that's not really something that I guess he's concerning the people on the ground. It concerns me advice,
you know, I mean like water. The earth like human rights abuses in like factory
The broader or in factories here, which, like we still see, is that what is being asked of capitalism in or at least in protest against capitalism- and, I think, like for the most part, yeah it's hard for people
to protect their own circumstances. It's hard for people who are just trying to get by in a system to protest. That system I mean, I think, it's complicated. If somebody has the vantage point from which to examine the system and see problems in it, how do they then petition for
the problems to be solved or lessened or what that looks like eternally complicated, but it feels like somehow we end up with, like we end up with corporate
to have almost no responsibility for their actions, and people have a lot of responsibility for theirs and that divide is I'm not not sure how you it, but I think it probably involved in protest, and I don't know what that brought us look like
You know something that you see rate in contemporary politics is, I think, a accurate sense on a lot of people spired that the prospects of large scale
article J and are really really the low and that their law-
Even if you you know
sort of Quantum court do the right thing and read
stir and go vote and things like that and that
experience of euro two thousand ninety thousand ten
where there was a lot of excitement about Obama and hope and change, and isn't that nothing happened as a result of those congressional majorities, but much
ass happened, then it I mean it's not just like
there wasn't a radical revision of capitalism. It's like much less
and then was in the Obama Electoral platform right and then again
I could tell you why. That is right and if you know filibuster, you know that there's a whole set of explanations, but we have a political system in which its extremely difficult for evil
activated engaged electoral majority to translate its desire for change into outcomes right
so to people who want you know even bigger change than that in
saying: ok, this is working.
Hey I need to. I need you like talk to ten more people and change their minds and then my more far reaching idea might also be popular right, and then we would also do that would cause. That's like my model of constructive change. Where is that
window of acceptability right, what would be that popular things would happen and unpopular, but perhaps morally urgent ideas? You would make the case for them and then try to convince people, and that would be nice
like as a writer, I've like really we're gonna believe in convincing people of stuff, but we're not
Political system is not functioning like that and its increasing.
Taken for granted in elite circles that the idea that it should work like that is laughable, rightly
if I were to say two Republicans, what's bad, that the Senate
She has a large skew too conservative, worldwide people, and we should change that. They would like have a discussion.
With me like that, like the idea that you would mean
change for the sake of fairness, is like it's like totally out of
right and you see it in like the increasing the
these shameless less with which gerrymandering texts both be woven. Brad right like how like how good they're, they're stratagems are- and you know demo
will like do their thing and try to win the election and, if you're mad about anything, tell you to go vote for them
but they don't have a credible theory of like how, but
I'd and winning in November is going to create these outcome swayed so like Jane, like stuck by qualified immunity. I damn trump is against change. A qualified majority,
Biden is for it. Senate Republicans are against it. Sent Democrats are for it, so
if Biden wins and Democrats, wind for Senate races
gonna change qualified immunity, the answer's no like they're, not going to. So that's
right. I mean, if you're, trying to sell people on the idea that, like look, there are moderate. You know,
and was a moderately gets it it's a big deal, but like reformist reforms that, like will address these issues and you should participate in the poet.
Process, like the answer is no like you're, not even going to achieve those things. So it does seem natural to me that people want to look outside electoral politics for
here as I don't I don't like. I don't agree with the idea of saying things on fire in Portland, because I don't, I don't think you can.
Explain to be like have that makes change happen, but I do think that people have an obligation
but like me, have an obligation to do more than like Tut Tut about these tactics
because the what's on offer from like Barack Obama
You know we have these voting centres like that's not going to work like it's definitely not going to work. I could give you like as a sympathetic account of like no
Obama didn't just betray, or your hopes and dreams as president, he faced the institutional constraints of the american political and legal system, but so, like that's gonna, just happen again, like you have to do something else. I think that's
What about the argument of dragging the overturn window to where or how many different discussion? I,
So I think that you know I felt were message. I didn't even mention once that people should by my book yeah, but is on sale. You cannot lose my book again because it's not in stores for eight days
and also. I think that if you lose a local, independent, bookstore you'll find action
a strong backlash from leftwing intellect
while Sue otherwise, might make excuses for you ass? I don't do that by my book with with money, but you can support a local bookstore while doing
I've gotta Indy bound, for example or bookshop? Are these are great websites for ordering from your local, independent bookstore, or maybe it's back open again, depending on pandemic circumstances, very important stuff? I'm! So. Thank you so much
for joining us. I know this is not your normal thing, but it's a great discussion. It's you know something. I think we need to address thanks as always to our sponsors, our producer, Jeffrey GED and the weeds will be back on to
Transcript generated on 2021-05-15.