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books Necessary Trouble: A New Protest Movement Emerges

With the far right now soon to command government, ongoing movements are also growing to challenge corporate domination, white supremacy, environmental degradation, union busting and organize workers in low-paid industries. Written before the November election, Sarah Jaffe's book chronicles these and other struggles, letting the activists--many new to politics-speak, and suggesting the fight for social and economic justice is ongoing, no matter which party reigns.

.,Public Affairs Books/Nation Books
By Sarah Jaffe
Nation Books, 352 pages
Hardcover:  $26.99; Ebook:  $17.99 (Kindle/Amazon)
August 23, 2016
ISBN: 9781568585369
E-book: 9781568585376 
Forty years after the onset of wage stagnation, growing inequality and the onset of the New Jim Crow, Sarah Jaffe, in her new book "Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt" has documented a new movement built on this long standing decline and kickstarted by the "Great Recession" continuing to this day. She talked with activists on the ground who were only heard when they made trouble and broke the rules to build movements for social change locally while social media spread the word nationally..
Jaffe starts with Occupy Wall Street  in 2011 whose rambunctious protests caught national attention and distilled consciousness of discontent over inequality  with the slogan "We are the 99%". Their example spread across the nation including victims of mass real estate foreclosures who frequently refused  eviction from their homes chanting "Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got sold Out". Then the issue of real estate lending morphed into the student debt crisis.
Even before Occupy, public sector workers fought Wisconsin Gov. Walker's attack on their bargaining rights while he cut the state budget and taxes of the rich. Their protests went viral nationwide when they occupied the State Capital Building. The area Central Labor Council even endorsed a general strike. Jaffe then visited the workers protesting Walmart's greedy side. Walmart workers fought for higher wages and benefits, against arbitrary scheduling and sexual harassment Then the campaign for "$15 and a Union" caught fire from NYC across the country with fast food workers, teaching assistants, airport workers, home health care and domestic workers among others. In Chicago a teachers insurgency movement fought along with community allies for better schools with a massive strike for higher pay, protecting pensions and community demands to reverse school service cutbacks. and closures.
Meanwhile the "Black Lives Matter" movement expanded nationwide protesting police killings of unarmed African Americans such as Troy Davis(Florida), Michael Brown(Ferguson) and Eric Garner(NYC). And they have received labor's support especially from minimum wage and domestic workers. .Rev. Barber in particular has joined the two movements together fighting voter disenfranchisement, police misconduct and minimum wage law struggles in the south and across the nation.
While Jaffe's tour of the new protest movement left off before the Presidential elections were in full sway, she constantly emphasizes that change comes from the bottom whoever is in power and the most effective tool in our arsenal to fight inequality is "Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt" which is the title of her book.
Author Sarah Jaffe is a Nation Institute Fellow and an independent journalist. Her work has appeared in The Nation, In These Times, Washington Post, Atlantic and more,
[Reviewer Ken Nash is a retired librarian from the AFSCME DC 37 Education Fund Library and co-producer/co-Host of WBAI-FM (NYC)'s Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report. A slightly revised edition of the review appears in Pubic Employee Press, November 2016.]
Thanks to the author for a sending a revised version of this article to Portside.