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New Internationalist launches Counterpower in London

The Books Blog

Watch a video of the London Counterpower launch here:

Last Sunday evening some of the UK’s most influential political activists came together at the down town Metal Works club in Islington to celebrate the launch of Tim Gee’s new book Counterpower.

‘We need to move on from protest,’ Tim Gee told the gathering. ‘It’s a good start, but we need to transform it into resistance...that’s what makes change happen.’

As the night drew on, a mix of activists shared memorable anecdotes of resistance, some funny, some inspiring. Lawyer Polly Higgins told the moving story of Sophie Scholl, the German student whose brave – and fatal – opposition to Nazism highlights the importance and bravery of those who speak out against wrongdoing.

Later, the audience was captivated by Peter Tatchell as he recalled posing as a News of the World journalist before attempting a citizen’s arrest of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. A witty tale of tanks, police and arms dealers shared by the Space Hijackers, amused the audience, and showed how resistance can be both creative and challenging.

Counterpower is about a single idea, which can explain why social movements succeed or fail. The book looks back at how counterpower has historically won campaigns, secured human rights, stopped wars and even brought down governments. This book could not be more timely with the ‘Occupy’ movements rapidly spreading across the world, showing that resistance is very much part of the present.

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