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Policing Dissent

Social Control and the Anti-Globalization Movement

Luis A. Fernandez

Publication Year: 2008

In November 1999, fifty-thousand anti-globalization activists converged on Seattle to shut down the World Trade Organization's Ministerial Meeting. Using innovative and network-based strategies, the protesters left police flummoxed, desperately searching for ways to control the crowds in Seattle and the emerging anti-corporate globalization movement. Faced with these network-based tactics, law enforcement agencies transformed their policing and social control mechanisms to manage this new threat . In Policing Dissent, sociologist Luis A. Fernandez provides a firsthand account of the changing nature of control efforts employed by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies when confronted with mass activism. Based on ethnographic research, and using an incisive, cutting-edge theoretical framework, Fernandez maps the use of legal, physical, and psychological approaches. Policing Dissent also offers readers the richness of experiential detail and engaging stories often lacking in studies of police practices and social movements. This book does not merely seek to explain the causal relationship between repression and mobilization. Rather, it shows how social control strategies act on the mind and body of protesters.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Contents

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pp. vii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This book could never have been completed without the guidance, love, and encouragement of my friends and colleagues. Thank you all for participating in this collective process. I want to thank Mare Schumacher, my life partner, for her unwavering support. Her willingness to tolerate seemingly endless hours at the computer obsessing over a particular turn of phrase is deeply,...

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Chapter 1: Protest, Control, and Policing

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pp. 1-18

You don’t expect downtown Washington, D.C., to be eerily quiet and deserted. But on one Friday morning in 2002, it was. I was standing with a small group of protesters in Dupont Circle at 6:30 A.M. during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) protests. Except for our group, the police, and some morning traffic, the streets were mostly abandoned...

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Chapter 2: Perspectives on the Control of Dissent

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pp. 19-34

As a concept, social control has a life of its own. Much has been written about it from sociological, criminological, political, and postmodern perspectives. Scholars use the term in studies of such diverse topics as deviance (Cohen 1966, Little 1989), punishment (Blomberg and Cohen 2003), disputes and the rule of law (Lauderdale and Cruit 1993), and...

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Chapter 3: The Anti-Globalization Movement

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pp. 35-67

Studying the control of the anti-globalization movement is daunting because the movement seems to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Taking on the characteristics of a multitude, the movement appears throughout the world in surprising locations. Social movement scholars see it in the water wars of Cochabamba, Peru (Shiva 2002), in the...

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Chapter 4: Managing and Regulating Protest: Social Control and the Law

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pp. 68-91

In November 2004, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) met in Miami. Representing thirty-four countries from the Americas, national trade ministers negotiated to eliminate trade and investment barriers on virtually all goods and services provided anywhere between Canada and Tierra del Fuego. Thousands of protesters also traveled to Miami to express...

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Chapter 5: This Is What Democracy Looks Like?: The Physical Control of Space

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pp. 92-137

In 1999, the world trade organization met in Seattle to launch a millennial round of trade negotiations. Along with the meeting attendees came thousands of protesters from all over the world who engaged in large street demonstrations outside the meeting venues. Using a network-based model, protesters organized around affinity groups to block traffic, close...

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Chapter 6: “Here Come the Anarchists”: The Psychological Control of Space

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pp. 138-164

Law enforcement uses numerous psychological tactics to control protest, constructing the meaning of antiglobalization activism through public relations campaigns and media messages. Psychological tactics are social control techniques that operate at the level of the mind, with the goal of creating fear and making it difficult for protesters to successfully mobilize...

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Chapter 7: Law Enforcement and Control

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pp. 165-172

In Multitude, Hardt and Negri (2004) argue that modes of repression always follow innovations in resistance, not the other way around. They suggest that dissenters are innovators, creating from necessity new ways to resist and challenge the status quo. The state then follows, implementing new forms of control to mitigate challenges to its power. Affinity...

Notes

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pp. 173-176

Bibliography

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pp. 177-188

Index

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pp. 189-192

About the Author

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pp. 193-


E-ISBN-13: 9780813544748
E-ISBN-10: 0813544742
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813542140
Print-ISBN-10: 0813542146

Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 9 photographs
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Critical Issues in Crime and Society
Series Editor Byline: Raymond Michalowski

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Social control -- United States.
  • Protest movements -- United States.
  • Anti-globalization movement -- United States.
  • Law enforcement -- United States.
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