Decades ago, Malcolm X eloquently stated that communities have the legitimate right to defend themselves “by any means necessary” with any tool or tactic, including guns. This wide-ranging anthology uncovers the hidden histories and ideas of community armed self-defense, exploring how it has been used by marginalized and oppressed communities as well as anarchists and radicals within significant social movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Far from a call to arms, or a “how-to” manual for warfare, this volume offers histories, reflections, and questions about the role of firearms in small collective defense efforts and its place in larger efforts toward the creation of autonomy and liberation.
Featuring diverse perspectives from movements across the globe, Setting Sights includes vivid histories and personal reflections from both researchers and those who participated in community armed self-defense. Contributors include Dennis Banks, Kathleen Cleaver, Mabel Williams, Subcomandante Marcos, Kristian Williams, George Ciccariello-Maher, Ashanti Alston, and many more.
“This book is a must read. It looks like self-defense and resistance today, but it is more. It is about courage, lucidity, and tools to create new worlds under the storm, in the midst of disaster.”
—Gustavo Esteva, founder of the Universidad de la Tierra and author of The Future of Development: A Radical Manifesto
“In Setting Sights, scott crow pulls together an important collection of historic and contemporary essays and interviews on politically informed armed self-defense. Thoughtful, considered, compelling, and even provocative, this edited collection brings together many perspectives, raises important questions, and gives considerable attention to the ways race and gender inform these crucial issues.”
—Emilye Crosby, author of A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi
“This provocative book, well worth reading, confirms that there is intellectual heft in revolutionary ideas. A valuable contribution to the history of community self-defense.”
—Charlie E. Cobb Jr., author of This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible
“An extensive volume that vividly illustrates the foundations and necessity of community armed defense in struggles for freedom against injustice and racism.”
—Robert Hillary King, author of From the Bottom of the Heap
“. . . crow is considered armed and dangerous. He is proactive in civil disobedience skills and goes to events to instigate trouble.”
—FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force
About the Contributors:
scott crow is an international speaker and author. His first book, Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective, was included on NPR’s Top Summer Reads of 2015. Black Flags and Windmills has been translated into Spanish, Russian, and Chinese. He is a contributor to the books Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab, Witness to Betrayal, The Black Bloc Papers, and What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation.
Ward Churchill was, until moving to Atlanta in 2012, a member of the leadership council of Colorado AIM. He is a life member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and currently a member of the elders council of the original Rainbow Coalition, founded by Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in 1969. Now retired, Churchill was professor of American Indian Studies and chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies until 2005, when he became the focus of a major academic freedom case. Among his two dozen books are Wielding Words Like Weapons and Pacifism as Pathology.