L. A. Kauffman – Direct Action: Protest & the Reinvention of American Radicalism

L.A. Kauffman has spent more than thirty years immersed in radical movements, as a journalist, historian, organizer, and strategist. Her writings on grassroots activism and social movement history have been published in The Nation, The Progressive, Mother Jones, the Village Voice, and many other venues.

L.A. Kauffman was a central strategist of the two-year direct action campaign that saved more than 100 New York City community gardens from bulldozing in 1999; she masterminded the campaign’s most notorious action, the release of 10,000 crickets in One Police Plaza during a city land auction. She served as a street tactician, direct-action trainer, and movement analyst during the turn-of-the-millennium global justice movement; her widely cited Free Radical column chronicled the movement’s upsurge and post-9/11 collapse.

Kauffman was the mobilizing coordinator for the massive February 15, 2003 antiwar protest in New York City, creating the event’s iconic “World Says No to War” poster, overseeing online outreach, and assembling the massive grassroots street operation, that distributed more than 2 million leaflets in a matter of weeks. She continued in this role through the years of major antiwar protests.

More recently, she coordinated successful campaigns to save two iconic New York City public libraries from being demolished and replaced by luxury towers.

Her latest book, Direct Action: Protest & the Reinvention of American Radicalism, is published by Verso.