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The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Spaceby Don Mitchell
Synopses & Reviews
Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-262) and index.
Book News Annotation:
Blending historical and geographical analysis, Mitchell (geography, Syracuse University) examines the relationship between struggles over public space and movements for social justice in the US. He explores cases of judicial response to public demonstrations by early 20th- century workers, and looks at comparable legal issues surrounding anti-abortion protests, free speech, and laws aimed at moving the homeless from city streets. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Efforts to secure the American city have life-or-death implications. Yet demands for heightened surveillance and security throw into sharp relief timeless questions about the nature of public space, how it is to be used, and under what conditions. Blending historical and geographical analysis, this book examines the vital relationship between struggles over public space and movements for social justice in the United States. Presented are a series of linked cases that explore the judicial response to public demonstrations by early twentieth-century workers, and comparable legal issues surrounding anti-abortion protests today; the Free Speech Movement and the history of People's Park in Berkeley; and the plight of homeless people facing new laws against their presence in urban streets. The central focus is how political dissent gains meaning and momentum--and is regulated and policed--in the real, physical spaces of the city. A 2014 Postscript explores the ramifications of Occupy Wall Street for the right to the city--and for the fate of homeless people--and provides updates on some of the issues discussed in the book.
About the Author
Don Mitchell is a Professor of Geography in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. After receiving his doctorate in geography from Rutgers University in 1992, he taught at the University of Colorado before moving to Syracuse. He is the author of two previous books and numerous articles on the geography of labor, urban public space, and contemporary theories of culture. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and has held a Fullbright Fellowship at the University of Oslo. He is the founder and director of the People's Geography Project (www.peoplesgeography.org).
Table of Contents
Introduction. The Fight for Public Space: What Has Changed?
Chapter 1. To Go Again to Hyde Park: Public Space, Rights, and Social Justice
Chapter 2. Making Dissent Safe for Democracy: Violence, Order, and the Legal Geography of Public Space
Chapter 3. From Free Speech to People's Park: Locational Conflict and the Right to
Chapter 4. The End of Public Space?: People's Park, the Public, and the Right to the City
Chapter 5. The Annihilation of Space by Law: Anti-Homeless Laws and the
Shrinking Landscape of Rights
Chapter 6. No Right to the City: Anti-Homeless Campaigns, Public Space Zoning,
and the Problem of Necessity
Conclusion. The Illusion and Necessity of Order: Toward a Just City
Postscript (2014): Now What Has Changed?
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