News & Analysis of Economic, Racial, Gender Justice and More

FEATURING VICKY OSTERWEIL – The Los Angeles Times in June interviewed a number of people who had participated in the ransacking of a drug store during protests against racist police violence. One man explained his actions to the paper saying, “We’ve got no other way of showing people how angry we are.”

But a store, whose window sported the sign “Justice for George Floyd,” was also destroyed. The owner, a Guatemalan immigrant who lost $20,000 worth of inventory told the Times, “I’m just very angry at the fact that we are a minority-owned business and we stand so much with the movement.”

The idea of looting as a political act is deeply controversial and is the subject of a new book that itself has attracted controversy.

Vicky Osterweil, writer, editor, and regular contributor to The New Inquiry. Her writing has also appeared in The Baffler, The Nation, The Rumpus, Real Life, and Al Jazeera America. Her new book is called In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action.

** This segment originally aired on October 1, 2020.

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