Protesters and mass demonstrations by citizens of many democratic countries are increasingly daily occurrences reported in today's news media. These protests are often considered to be illegal or are charged with disrupting the peace, and even when they are non-violent assemblies they are attacked by police and riot squads called in to disperse the protesters.
Through a careful review of opposition to injustice, this book demonstrates that most often these protests and demonstrations are in support of and defend moral and legal principles that their democratic governments have forgotten to uphold or have chosen to ignore. Much like the earlier Civil Rights Movement in the US, that was centered on issues of social justice and human dignity, Westra concludes that today's protesters and social movements rally to defend human rights and moral principles against the undue influence of corporate actors, and raise their voice in opposition to the resulting actions by and under the authority of their governments.
Laura Westra, Ph.D. (1982) in Philosophy, University of Toronto, and Ph.D. (2005) in Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, currently teaches environmental law at the University of Windsor, international law at the University of Milano (Bicocca). She has published twenty-nine monographs and collections on environmental justice and human rights issues and international law, and over 85 articles and chapters.
Table of contents
by Sheila Collins Introduction
PART I: THE (IL)LEGALITY OF PROTEST MOVEMENTS
1 Introduction to the Authority of Law and Social Protest
2 The Occupy Wall Street Movement: Attack in a “Lawless” World?
3 Non-governmental organizations and Social Movements: Substance and Roles
4 International Citizenship Under Siege
5 The Limits of the Power of INGOs, Social Movements, and Associations, and the Authority of Law
PART II: VICTIMS OF STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE
6 Victims of “Non-Intimate Violence” and the Law
7 Victims of Human Rights Law and of Legal Persons: Where Justice and Equal Rights Do Not Apply
8 Victims of Legal Bombardments, Drone Attacks and other Forms of Collateralism
9 Responsibility to Protect or Obligation to Prevent: Whose Responsibility?
10 Current Changes and Concluding Thoughts
Appendix I: List of Cases
Appendix II: List of Documents
General interest in law, sociology, international law and political science, on the part of both students and scholars.