Written from the maxim “it takes a lawyer, an activist, and a storyteller to change the world", The Revolution Will Not Be Litigated shows how the law and social movements can reinforce each other in the struggle for justice and freedom.
In these vibrant narratives, 25 of the world’s most accomplished movement lawyers and activists become storytellers, reflecting on their experiences at the frontlines of some of the most significant struggles of our time. In an era where human rights are under threat, their words offer both an inspiration and a compass for the way movements can use the law – and must sometimes break it – to bring about social justice.
The contributors here take you into their worlds: Jennifer Robinson frantically orchestrating a protest outside London’s Ecuadorean embassy to prevent the authorities from arresting her client Julian Assange; Justin Hansford at the barricades during the protests over the murder of Black teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Ghida Frangieh in Lebanon’s detention centres trying to access arrested protestors during the 2019 revolution; Pavel Chikov defending Pussy Riot and other abused prisoners in Russia; Ayisha Siddiqa, a shy Pakistani immigrant, discovering community in her new home while leading the 2019 youth climate strike in Manhattan; Greenpeace activist Kumi Naidoo on a rubber dinghy in stormy Arctic seas contemplating his mortality as he races to occupy an oil rig.
The stories in The Revolution Will Not Be Litigated capture the complex, and often awkward dance between legal reform and social change. They are more than compelling portraits of fascinating lives and work, they are revelatory: of generational transitions; of epochal change and apocalyptic anxiety; of the ethical dilemmas that define our age; and of how one can make a positive impact when the odds are stacked against you in a harsh world of climate crisis and ruthless globalization.
Contributors: Phelister Abdalla, Alejandra Ancheita, Joe Athialy, Baher Azmy, Pavel Chikov, Ghida Frangieh, Njeri Gateru, Mark Gevisser, Robin Gorna, Justin Hansford, Mark Heywood, Benjamin Hoffman, David Hunter, Ka Hsaw Wa, Julia Lalla-Maharajh, Kumi Naidoo, Nana Ama Nketia-Quaidoo, Katie Redford, Jennifer Robinson, Ayisha Siddiqa, Eimear Sparks, Klementyna Suchanov, Marissa Vahlsing, Krystal Two Bulls, David Wicker, Farhana Yamin and JingJing Zhang.
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Mark Gevisser is one of South Africa’s foremost authors and journalists. His books include The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers; Lost and Found in Johannesburg; and the award-winning A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of South Africa’s Dream. His journalism and criticism has been published widely, in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Granta, and many other publications.
Katie Redford is a lawyer with expertise in human rights, climate change and corporate accountability. She is executive director of the Equation Campaign, which confronts the climate crisis by “supporting movements on the ground to keep fossil fuels in the ground.” She was a co-founder and director of EarthRights International, where she oversaw litigation, training and campaigns programs to hold corporations and other perpetrators legally accountable for human rights and environmental abuses worldwide.