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#BlackLivesMatter: The birth of a new civil rights movement

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

How a new generation of tech-savvy activists made violence against African Americans into global headline news

Alicia Garza was in a bar in Oakland, California, drinking bourbon when the verdict came in. It was July 2013 and she had been following thetrial of George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, who had shot dead a 17-year-old African-American by the name of Trayvon Martin in February of the preceding year. Martin had been unarmed, on his way back from a 7/11 convenience store where he had just bought himself an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. read more

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Have Guns, Will Liberate: Inside the civic theology of arms-bearing

Source: The Baffler

European thought on violence and government doesn’t survive transatlantic shipping very well. In the American setting, the story of Hobbes’s state, which seizes for itself the exclusive right to force while providing domestic peace in return, has the reassuring and quaint cadence of a sanitized fairy tale. That’s because in North America, the war of all against all has long been seen less as a problem and more as a solution, one perfectly suited to a settler-colonial population conquering its way westward with non-state militias. Freelance physical force was indispensable in a slave society maintained by violence inflicted lawfully by state and private actors alike. Let loose in the New World, Leviathan goes feral. read more