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Social Protest

Edited by Bethany Jacobs


While the concept of social protest may readily evoke the nonviolent marches of Martin Luther King or explosive revolutions in the Middle East, this reader introduces literature that troubles the simple violent vs. nonviolent dichotomy that is so familiar in social protest discourses. It includes individual accounts of activists from numerous protest movements and those of various politics to show how they articulate their participation in the work of social protest. The Social Protest Casebook asks students to consider how individual identity impacts one’s experience of social oppression and how ingrained systems—like white power, compulsory heterosexuality, and patriarchy—attempt to contain all people within easily defined, easily controlled demographics. It offers readings about passionate, dedicated thinkers who committed to breaking the mold.


  • “On Women’s Right to Vote”, Susan B. Anthony
  • “Good Friday Letter”,  Cesar Chavez
  • “Sharing the Wealth”,  Cesar Chavez
  • “Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance”,  Cheryl Clarke
  • “Combahee River Collective Statement”, Combahee River Collective
  • “On Occupy”, Angela Davis
  • “Women, Race and Class: An Activist Perspective”, Angela Davis
  • “On Occupy”, Silvia Federici
  • “New York Times changes its story on blame for Brooklyn Bridge arrests”, FreakOutNation
  • “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!”, Patrick Henry
  • “We Are Not Crumbs, We Must Not Accept Crumbs”, Larry Kramer
  • “On Occupy”, James Lawson
  • “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”, Audre Lorde
  • “Wall Street Protest Begins, with Demonstrations Blocked”, Colin Moynihan
  • “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City”, Occupy Wall Street
  • “Principles of Solidarity”, Occupy Wall Street
  • “Statement of Autonomy”, Occupy Wall Street
  • “A Statement From The Occupy Student Debt Campaign”, Occupy Wall Street
  • “On Occupy”, María Poblet
  • Excerpt from Always Running, Luis Rodriguez
  • “On Occupy”, Rinku Sen
  • “Assata Shakur: Profiled and on the Run”, Assata Shakur and Ida Lewis
  • “Occupy: A Name Fixed to a Flashpoint”, Jonathan Mathew Smucker
  • “Civil Disobedience”, Henry David Thoreau
  • “Ain’t I a Woman?”, Sojourner Truth
  • “On Occupy”, Steve Williams
  • “The Ballot or the Bullet”, Malcolm X