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Crashing the Party
Crashing the Party

Crashing the Party

Legacies and Lessons from the RNC 2000

By Kris Hermes, Foreword by Marina Sitrin, Afterword by Heidi Boghosian


352 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Trade Paper, $22.95 (US $22.95) (CA $23.99)

Publication Date: September 2015

ISBN 9781629631028

Rights: WOR X UK

PM Press (Sep 2015)


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Over the past 15 years, people in the United States—and dissidents in particular—have witnessed a steady escalation of the National Security State, including invasive surveillance and infiltration, indiscriminate police violence, and unlawful arrests. Crashing the Party shows how these developments—normally associated with the realities of a post–9/11 world—were already being set in motion during the Republican National Convention protests in 2000. It also documents how, in response, dissidents confronted new forms of political repression by pushing legal boundaries and establishing new models of collective resistance. Crashing the Party explains how the events of 2000 acted as a testing ground in which Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney was able to develop repressive methods of policing that have been used extensively across the U.S. ever since. While much has been written about the global-justice era of struggle, little attention has been paid to the legal struggles of the period or the renewed use of solidarity tactics in jail and the courtroom that made them possible. By analyzing the successes and failures of these tactics, Crashing the Party offers rare insight into the mechanics and concrete effects of such resistance. In this way, it is an invaluable resource for those seeking to confront today's renewed counterintelligence tactics.


"An exhaustive on-the-ground account of the tools that all levels of governments now use to suppress political dissent. Although focused on the 2000 Republic National Convention in Philadelphia, author Kris Hermes identifies and documents coercive techniques employed at many other protests, both large and small. Hermes, who gained firsthand experience before, during, and after the event, also shows how dedicated jail solidarity efforts can mitigate the harmful effects of arrests and overcharging, although sometimes at great personal cost. A must-read for anyone interested in knowing the how far governments can and will go in this post–9/11 era."  —Jim Redden, author, Snitch Culture

"By recounting the story of the R2K Legal Collective supporting protesters against the 2000 Republican Convention in Philadelphia, Crashing the Party shows us some of the possibilities of legal defense, and outlines strategies to realize them (as well as the counter-strategies the state may employ)." —Kristian Williams,

"Crashing the Party is a chilling story, well told. In it are many accounts of solidarity, betrayal, bravery, and brutality." —J.E. McNeil, Friends Journal

"This unique book provides what is arguably the first in-depth examination of radical legal support in North America, an analysis framed by his meticulous recounting of the mobilization against the Republican National Convention [RNC] held in Philadelphia in the summer of 2000." —Irina Ceric, Radical Criminology

"A strategy for carrying activism onto the criminal injustice system's own turf is more important than ever. Kris Hermes's fine book shows us how legal collectives can continue to play a vital role." —Eric Laursen, The Fifth Estate

Author Biography

Kris Hermes is a Bay Area–based activist who has worked for nearly 30 years on social justice issues. Since 2000, he has been an active, award-winning legal worker-member of the National Lawyers Guild and has been a part of numerous law collectives and legal support efforts over the years. In this capacity, he has organized dozens of press conference and spoken at numerous community meetings, political conferences, book fairs, and other similar events across the U.S. He has also written extensively in his professional career as a media worker and as a legal activist. He lives in Oakland, California. Marina Sitrin is a writer, lawyer, teacher, and organizer. She is the editor of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina, author of Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism & Autonomy in Argentina, and a coauthor of They Can't Represent US! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy. She lives in New York City. Heidi Boghosian is the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the cohost of the weekly civil liberties radio show Law and Disorder on Pacifica's WBAI in New York and over 40 national affiliates. She is the former editor in chief of the Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review and is the author of Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance. She lives in New York City.