Randall Amster

Randall Amster

Randall Amster, JD, PhD, is Director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University. His books include Peace Ecology (Routledge, 2015), Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012), Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB, 2008); and the co-edited volume Exploring the Power of Nonviolence: Peace, Politics, and Practice (Syracuse University Press, 2013).

Articles by this author

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Sunday, December 05, 2010
It Goes Without Saying...
...that we take the greater portion of this world as we find it, not as we might like it to be. In this sense, we primarily play the roles of resigned participant or cynical observer where conscience exists, and where it does not the outcome is often manifested in terms of either willful neglect or conspicuous consumption. A relative though not insignificant few in every era will take up the thankless and unscripted task of confronting the status quo in an attempt to turn harsh realities into humane alternatives.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010
Changes in Gratitude: Eternal Thanks for a Nonviolent Future
Let's be honest about this: the world has been coming apart at the seams, and we've been far too complacent about it. Sure, many of us are well aware of the apocalyptic risks of climate change, the social/environmental ravages of perpetual warfare, and the harsh realities of the rise of global corporate fascism. The era in which we live is defined by an incessant news cycle that chronicles the "end of days" trope in real time. And yet, despite occasional outbreaks of resistance, we've mostly been content to watch it play out through the lens of detached denial.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010
Web of Dependency: The Thin New Line
In just a few short years, it has become increasingly apparent that humankind is fast approaching a technological tipping point. Particularly in the West – the First World , the Developed Nations, or whatever self-consciously superlative designation you prefer – a thorough going dependence on “high technology” for life-sustaining essentials is evident in all spheres of modern society. The hardware of our lives, from food and energy to transportation and shelter, is entirely bound up with the workings of a highly mechanized and digitized global economy.
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Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Orwell That Ends Well
In just the past week, a friend lost his cellphone, and another was robbed. One fell asleep in the bathtub, and another visited her old elementary school. A number had interesting fare for dinner. Some liked the weather, others lamented it. One notable presence in particular diligently posted her whereabouts at all times. Pretty typical stuff actually, and almost none of it interesting in the least. This isn't the Information Age - it's the Too Much Information Age.
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Monday, September 06, 2010
As Goes Arizona, Whither Goes the Nation?
We are now fully through the looking glass here in the state that has become synonymous with reactionary fear-mongering and institutionalized intolerance. To wit: Our sitting governor gets stumped during the "introductions" portion of a televised debate, winds up righting herself with the glorious phrase, "I have did everything I could do," and then proceeds to storm out of a post-debate media session when the questions get too hard.
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Saturday, August 14, 2010
Noncooperation with Evil in the Streets of Arizona
The history of nonviolent social change is filled with injunctions to refuse compliance with unjust laws and policies. As Gandhi once famously said, “non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.” Reflecting on the Montgomery bus boycott, Martin Luther King, Jr. observed that “what we were really doing was withdrawing our cooperation from an evil system. … We were simply saying to the white community: We can no longer lend our cooperation to an evil system.
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Saturday, July 31, 2010
Phoenix Rising ... and the Struggle Continues
I've written a lot about Arizona since the national controversy over SB 1070 took hold, and in particular during recent weeks as the struggle over the bill's implications and ultimate fate began to reach a fever pitch. This focus is not accidental by any means: I've lived in Arizona for fifteen years, and I care deeply about the causes of social justice reflected in the debate over immigration. And what I've seen here during this time, and especially over the past few days, indicates to me that we are on the cusp of something truly extraordinary.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010
From the Heart of Arizona, We Still Have a Dream
Following the news that a federal judge has struck down what are essentially the worst parts of Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070, there is a sense of vindication and relief on the part of many who have been working for justice in regard to immigration issues.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Climate of Fear: SB 1070 and Extremist Violence on the Arizona Border
One of the unspoken tragedies and implicit intentions of Arizona's anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, is the promotion of a climate of fear among certain segments of the population. This fear-mongering strategy has been cooked up by the bill's leading proponents and most likely beneficiaries: the governor, rightwing state legislators, and an unscrupulous sheriff who shall remain nameless. As the political leadership of a failing state, they should be squarely on the hot seat, but instead they have managed to deflect scrutiny and pass the buck down the ladder to the bottom rung instead.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010
Phoenix, We Have a Problem…
"Arizona's flagship, the SB 1070, has veered wildly off-course -- following contact with aliens it is now on a collision course with the U.S.S. Constitution -- MayDay, MayDay, calling all ships at sea, burning up on reentry -- Ground Control, copy, the SB 1070 is going down, repeat, SB 1070 is going down..."
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