February 2011 update: As the Occupy Movement debates questions of nonviolence and diversity of tactics, I wanted to make available the essay I wrote some years ago, "Many Roads to Morning: Rethinking Nonviolence", in Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising. New Society, the publishers, have graciously prepared this pdf which is yours as a free download. If you feel like showing us some love in return, we encourage donations to Earth Activist Training. The book itself is part of their New Catalyst collection, available in print or Ebook form -- see below.
of a 2003 Nautilus Award,
Webs of Power is a call to reconceive our political and economic systems at the very deepest levels. Writing from the front lines, Starhawk chronicles the global justice movement sparked by Seattle's 1999 anti-World Trade Organization protest. An activist in many of the major peace and justice movements of our times, Starhawk continues to be deeply involved as a direct action participant and trainer in the anti-globalization movement. (For the latest, see her writings on the WTO Cancun mobilization.)
The book is divided into "Actions" and "Visions." In Part I, Starhawk begins with a direct-action perspective of what really happened in Seattle and provides an overview of the complex political and economic powers that the anti-globalization movement opposes. Recounting the blow-by-blow events of the critical confrontations faced by the anti-globalization protestors after Seattle, Prague, Brazil, Quebec, Genoa, Starhawk discusses police brutality, the Black Bloc versus the pacifists, and the magic of solidarity.
In Part II, Starhawk
spins a vision of the future of the anti-globalization movement. Drawing
on her twenty years of experience as an activist, ecofeminist, and Witch,
she explores the debate between violent and nonviolent tactics; the definition
of an economy of true abundance; and how we can transform our rage and
despair, face our fears, and renew our spirits while acting to change
From a review in Cincinnati
Magazine: "For those like myself,
who all too often find themselves supporting
from the sidelines, Webs of Power
is a persuasive account of why we should
increase our level of involvement. For those
like the author, who are drawn to the frontlines
of the actions, it is a powerful affirmation,
a reminder that change comes only with effort.
And for those in power who continue to hide
behind police barricades, Webs of Power
is a wake-up call, a reminder that not everyone
is content to live in a world ruled by corporate
is a trade association for publishers and
retailers, which followed up its rave review
by giving Webs a 2003 Nautilus Award at
Book Expo America. Michael Weaver, director
of the Nautilus Awards at the publishing
trade organization NAPRA, commented that
Webs is "an amazing blend
of intelligence, heart, and spirit, the
perfect convergence of the personal with
the global, and easily the best of Starhawk's
non-fiction to date."
Praise for "Webs of Power":
The grave danger we
are in -- of enslavement, worldwide, by
the insatiably greedy -- is so complex only
a witch could fully comprehend, analyze,
and write a spell to get us out of it. I
am serious. Enter Starhawk (thank Goddess!)
and Webs of Power. This book tells
us all we need to know about the chasm gaping
at our feet. Visionary ropes are thrown
in the hope that we will have sense and
soul enough to swing ourselves across. A
must and soonest read.
Since the anti-WTO protests in Seattle, a dispersed and diverse
global movement has better understood itself in the mirror of
Starhawk's writings. Her essays consistently, and miraculously,
combine how-to practicality with poetry and inspiration. She presents
the best face of social justice and dares us to live up to it.
of Power is a must reading for all
who would take part in the essential revolution
of our time: the transition from a suicide
economy to a life-sustaining civilization.
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