Late last week, Greta Thunberg arrived in the US to participate in the events around Climate Week that will coincide with climate-related meetings at the United Nations on 23-29 September. Before the festivities get underway, a whole week of climate resistance is scheduled, including the #GlobalClimateStrike on 20th September. The Strike is expected to draw both adult and student participants around the world.
Two days after her arrival, Thunberg and her many compatriots held a school strike at the UN on Friday–for the first time striking together in the same place (although many people participated in school strikes around the US and the world on Friday as well!). As many readers know, I have been studying the climate movement and how it is related to the Resistance since 2016 (see chapter 5 in this volume for an early account).
After writing this recent piece about the broader importance of the growing school strikes –which organizers like Thunberg call “Fridays for Future”–I started studying the participants in the youth climate movement in the US and abroad. I found that many of the young people participating in the US had cut their teeth in the Resistance, participating in Women’s Marches or activism around gun violence, including the National School Strike and March for Our Lives in 2018.
The project also looks at how all the young people participating are connected through organizations, which I call “the connective tissue of democracy” (American Resistance, page 63). Here is a network diagram of the affiliation of participants in the youth climate movement in the US showing how individuals are connected with organizations (green nodes) and specific hashtags (pink nodes). Although Fridays for Future and Sunrise have gotten a lot of attention in recent months, this diagram provides a broader sense of the organizational landscape and the ways that individuals are connected to specific organizations and one another.
Last week, I presented sections of the American Resistance and work related to the project at the annual sociology meetings. Here’s a photo from a video of me talking about posting papers related to the book.
I’m enjoying a bit of calm before American Resistance officially comes out on November 5th (remember that you can preorder now for a discount). Already, numerous events have been scheduled around the book and more are in the works–if you’re interested in booking an event, contact me. I will be updating the list of appearances here.
We are also experiencing the August calm before Resistance in the streets gets going again this fall. Already, the Global Climate Strike is scheduled for September (with the big events taking place on the 20th in the US), the TransMarch on DC on September 28th, and certainly more to come!
While reviewing the index for American Resistance, I realized that it provides some interesting data for thinking about the Resistance (and the contents of the book). Here is a word cloud made up of the most common words/phrases in the index. The size of the word or phrase is based on how many times it is mentioned in the index. I removed the word “surveys” from the map because it was the most mentioned by far–since most of the data I collected for the book are survey data.
Last Friday night, the Lights for Liberty vigils swept across the country. Now that my colleagues at the Crowd Counting Consortium have estimated turnout (up to 120,080 people at 692 vigils around the US), I thought that I should update my figure of Resistance in the Streets since the 2018 midterm elections. Here’s the updated diagram:
Already, fall is looking like it will be pretty active, with Global Climate Strikes scheduled for the week of September 20th and the National Trans Visibility March scheduled for September 29 and it’s only July…
Today is the kickoff of the Youth Climate Summit in Miami, which aims to “uplift the citizens of Miami, and train more young people to be effective climate justice advocates.”
My new piece in the Monkey Cage at the Washington Post presents data from my recent survey of young climate activists, showing how those participating in the US are children of the Resistance: they cut their teeth at the US National School Walkout against gun violence, the March for Our Lives, as well as in 3 years of Women’s Marches.
Tomorrow, a coalition of progressive groups are organizing #CloseTheCamps demonstrations to take place outside local Congressional offices around the country. This event, which was announced on June 28th, is the most recent act of national resistance since the midterm elections in November 2018. This figure shows some of the biggest protests since the midterms. These protests have turned out participants in coordinated events around the US, in some cases, like the 2019 Women’s March mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people to participate across the country.
I’m happy to report that the proofs for American Resistance have been edited and resubmitted to the publisher! At this point, the next time I see a full draft of the book, it will be published. I am in the process of scheduling events for when the book comes out. Keep your eye on the events page for a schedule of upcoming events. Also, here are instructions to preorder the book at a discounted rate from Columbia University Press.
Yesterday, in response to a series of laws passed in states that restricted women’s access to abortion, people took to the streets once again. A coalition of groups including Reproductive Rights-focused organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood and more general political groups like ACLU, Indivisible, Move On and Swing Left worked together on the #StopTheBans day of action. Over 400 events were held around the US (a great collection of images is here).
In DC, the area in front of the Supreme Court that was allocated for the protest overflowed onto the street with people joining the demonstration. It is not surprising that this issue would spark so much outrage and collective action. As I have found in my work on Persistence in the Resistance (with Lorien Jasny), one of the main motivations for participants who have turned out again-and-again to protest is Reproductive Rights.
The book is in press at Columbia University Press and, as of today, you can pre-order it through the American Resistance page over at the publisher’s website. If you order through the publisher (as opposed to say, Amazon), the publisher is offering a 30% discount on the book. Just use the code “CUP30” at checkout.
I have decided to keep the very early drafts of the chapters that are up on this site live for now. Please note that the order of chapters as well as the content has changed a lot in the past many months, but I still believe it gives a sense of what’s in the book.
The American Resistance is highly educated, female, and mostly white. It is also predominantly middle- aged people. As the Resistance has marched in the streets and participated in events in Congressional districts and communities around the country, we have witnessed young people getting increasingly involved in activism as well. Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February 2018, young people have participated in school walkouts, the March for Our Lives, and much more.
More recently, much has been said about the growing youth climate movement. As 16 year-old Greta Thunberg has been joined by a number of other young activists, the #FridaysforFuture movement has spread like wildfire around the world. On May 24th, another global strike for future is taking place. I wrote a piece about what this emerging youth movement means to the young people participating, their families, and the movement. Check it out at Nature Climate Change.
After a lot of fiddling with my protest t-shirts, the fine folks at Columbia University Press decided to go in a completely different direction. Here is the (very likely) cover for American Resistance! Stay tuned for information about upcoming talks and pre-orders should be available very soon.