Resisting Coca-Cola

Against the Grain

Coca-Cola is the most ubiquitous of American brands, the symbol of American capitalism and culture internationally, for better and for worse. It’s been a stand-in for American modernity and a lightening rod for global opposition to US corporate and cultural hegemony. Amanda Ciafone discusses the material and immaterial products of Coca-Cola — and the resistance …

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Against the Grain

Is “Broken Windows” Broken?

“Broken windows” policing emphasizes the importance of addressing minor disruptions and low-level offenses, such as those committed by homeless people with mental health issues. But do such policing tactics reduce the amount of perceived disorder on the streets, or actually foster it? Tony Sparks discusses a revealing case study of policing and punishment in San … Continued

The struggle at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline brought international attention to the resistance of Native peoples against the destruction of the environment. But that resistance has been going on for centuries. Dina Gilio-Whitaker discusses why ecological struggles have been central to Native struggles — and the complicated relationship between the US environmental … Continued

Against the Grain

White Crime and White Privilege in the Jim Crow South

In the Jim Crow South, African Americans were criminalized. The flip side of that coin, asserts Tammy Ingram, was the decriminalization of whites. Ingram reveals how local authorities tolerated, enabled, and at times actively collaborated with white mobsters in Phenix City, Alabama. Amy Wood and Natalie Ring, eds., Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow … Continued

Against the Grain

Walter Benjamin on Violence

Walter Benjamin, a German-Jewish philosopher associated with the Frankfurt School, had a unique take on the origins and manifestations of violence in the world. James Martel discusses how Benjamin thought about the various forms of violence under capitalism, and whether he thought violence and coercion could be eradicated. Brad Evans and Terrell Carver, eds., Histories … Continued