Buffalo’s Burning Books is hosting Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein tonight, October 1st at 7 PM. Ross and Rein will be discussing their new book, Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements.
This volume features sixty-seven interviews with leaders and grassroots activists from fifteen countries presenting their work and debating pressing questions of power, organizational forms, and relations with the state. These interviewees have mobilized on a wide range of issues: fighting against mines and agribusiness and for living space, rural and urban; for social space won through recognition of language, culture, and equal participation; for community and environmental survival. The book is organized in chapters by country, each introduced by a solidarity activist, writer or academic with deep knowledge of the place.
Upside Down World recently ran a fascinating excerpt from their introduction.
Until the Rulers Obey: Learning from Latin America’s Social Movements
By Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein. Upside Down World. September 24, 2014.
A wave of change rolled through Latin America at the turn of the twenty-first century, sweeping away neoliberal two-party governments, bringing calls to re-found the states based on broad participation and democratically drafted constitutions. The power and motion of this wave, often referred to as the “Pink Tide,” came from the social movements that had been gathering force for over a decade—rebuilding in spaces opened by the fall of US-backed military dictatorships, rethinking in the spaces opened by the crumbling of the Soviet socialist models.
These movements galvanized long-silent—or silenced—sectors of society: indigenous people, campesinos, students, the LGBT community, the unemployed and all those left out of the promised utopia of a globalized economy. They have deployed a wide array of strategies and actions to some common ends. They march against mines and agribusiness; they occupy physical spaces, rural and urban, and social space won through recognition of language, culture, and equal participation; they mobilize villages, towns, cities and even nations for community and environmental survival. They are sloughing off the skin of the twentieth-century bipolar world, synthesizing old ways of working and finding new paths into an uncertain future.