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NCJ Number: 227858 Find in a Library
Title: Policing Protest Events: The Great Strike of 1877 and WTO Protest of 1999
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2008  Pages:1-18
Author(s): Matthew DeMichele
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 18
Type: Historical Overview; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the belief that police give priority to protecting dominant economic interests by analyzing two case studies of direct-action social movements that occurred nearly 100 years apart: a major labor strike of the late 19th century (the Great Strike of 1877) and recent protests against a nonstate international organization (the World Trade Organization).
Abstract: The study found that despite many changes in contemporary policing strategies, the police are routinely used to protect existing economic institutions and their interests. The analysis of the case studies shows how shifts in economic institutions shape formal social control practices. The comparison of the two social protest events and police responses to them show how new technologies have enabled certain adaptations and innovations for both protests and police protest-breaking activities. The author argues that the public police institution should not be understood only as being charged with responding reactively to criminal violations, but also as the governmental arm that protects dominant economic institutions, particularly in times of change in economic institutions. The protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) focused on multinational corporations during times of intense economic structural change. The protests focused on economic inequality. The Great Strike was an important impetus for economic elites to support a strong, organized, domestic police force capable of protecting dominant economic practices. Similarly, the WTO protests caused supra-state economic organizations to recognize that they depend on strong formal social control agencies to protect their operations. 2 tables and 67 references
Main Term(s): Police responsibilities
Index Term(s): Civil disorders; Financial institutions; Social change; Social reform
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