Political Repression, the National Security State, and Collective Legal Resistance [Seattle]

  • Left Bank Books Collective 92 Pike Street Seattle, WA, 98101 United States

Come out to Left Bank Books Collective on Wednesday, June 22nd at 7:30pm for an engaging discussion on political repression, the National Security State, and collective legal resistance, sponsored by the Seattle chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

Activist and PM Press author Kris Hermes will talk about his new book Crashing the Party: Legacies and Lessons from the RNC 2000, an engrossing combination of social history and courtroom drama. Hermes, formerly on staff with the National Lawyers Guild and a member of multiple radical law collectives, examines the origins of contemporary protest policing and the creative legal resistance used to overcome it.

Over the past sixteen years, people in the United States—and dissidents in particular—have witnessed a steady escalation of the National Security State, including invasive surveillance and infiltration, indiscriminate police violence, and unlawful arrests. These concerted efforts to spy on Americans and undermine meaningful social change are greatly enhanced by the coordination of numerous local, state, and federal agencies often operating at the behest of private corporations. Normally associated with the realities of a post-9/11 world, Crashing the Party shows how these developments were already being set in motion during the Republican National Convention protests in 2000. The book also documents how, in response, dissidents confronted new forms of political repression by pushing legal boundaries and establishing new models of collective resistance.

Hermes will be joined by PM Press author, organizer and scholar Dan Berger, an assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Washington Bothell. Berger, who is a cofounder of Decarcerate PA, will talk about his book The Struggle Within: Prisons, Political Prisoners, and Mass Movements in the United States.

The Struggle Within is an accessible yet wide-ranging historical primer about how mass imprisonment has been a tool of repression deployed against diverse left-wing social movements over the last fifty years. Berger examines some of the most dynamic social movements across half a century: black liberation, Puerto Rican independence, Native American sovereignty, Chicano radicalism, white antiracist and working-class mobilizations, pacifist and antinuclear campaigns, and earth liberation and animal rights.