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Cooking up a revolution

Food Not Bombs, Homes Not Jails, and resistance to gentrification

By Sean Parson

Cooking up a revolution
Hardcover +
  • Price: £21.00
  • ISBN: 9781526107350
  • Publish Date: Dec 2018
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £21.00
  • ISBN: 9781526148025
  • Publish Date: Sep 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £21.00
  • ISBN: 9781526108111
  • Publish Date: Dec 2018
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    Description

    During the late 1980s and early 1990s the city of San Francisco waged a war against the homeless. Over 1,000 arrests and citations where handed out by the police to activists for simply distributing free food in public parks. Why would a liberal city arrest activists helping the homeless? In exploring this question, the book treats the conflict between the city and activists as a unique opportunity to examine the contested nature of homelessness and public space while developing an anarchist alternative to liberal urban politics that is rooted in mutual aid, solidarity, and anti-capitalism. In addition to exploring theoretical and political issues related to gentrification, broken-windows policing, and anti-homeless laws, this book provides activists, students and scholars, examples of how anarchist homeless activists in San Francisco resisted these processes.

    Reviews

    'What does one do in a country where it's illegal to dumpster dive for discarded food but perfectly legal to throw out food while millions go hungry, or where it's illegal to live in parks or abandoned buildings while gentrification pushes more people to the brink of homelessness? Using applied political theory and exploring the radical politics of the historically dubbed lumpen proletariat, Parson (Northern Arizona Univ.) outlines the anarchist politics of Food Not Bombs and Homes Not Jails in San Francisco from 1988 to 1995. For FNB and HNJ, a combination of state policies and dehumanizing capitalism, not mental illness, caused homelessness. Through direct action working with homeless populations in mutual aid and solidarity rather than charity, activists confronted the city's neoliberal politics in a time of growing homelessness and rapid gentrification of the Bay Area. By engaging with the homeless by providing free food, squatting, and demonstrating, FNB and HNJ politicized these victims of neoliberalism to "create temporary autonomous zones where we are able to foreshadow the world we want to see." Parson's sympathetic account is a welcome critique of neoliberal America, when issues like gentrification again are making cities more unlivable for marginalized people.'
    K. R. Shaffer, Penn State University, Berks College, Choice Vol. 56, No. 12 (August 2019)

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