The Politics of Protest: Task Force on Violent Aspects of Protest and Confrontation of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence

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Triggered by the massive and often violent civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, in 1968 the Johnson Administration created the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence to analyze violent protest and to make recommendations on how to reduce it. The report that Jerome H. Skolnick and his team of researchers produced in the remarkably short time span of seven months had a significant influence on policymakers and law enforcers, and also sold over 100,000 copies before going out of print in the early 1980s. The book examined antiwar, student, and black protest, and studied the responses of the law enforcement and judicial communities to violent protest. Forty years later and long out of print, the book remains a classic. In light of new twenty-first-century confrontations including anti-Iraq War demonstrations, face-offs between environmentalists and developers, and the continued specter of street violence between cops and people of disadvantaged communities, the time is ripe to reconsider the report's findings. In his new preface and introduction, Skolnick compares the trends and events documented in the original report to their present-day forms of protest.