Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Full Spectrum Resistance, Volume 1

Building Movements and Fighting to Win

by Aric McBay


The more than fifty resistance movements and sub-movements featured here make this the radical's guide to restoring our rights, saving our planet, and creating lasting change. From mid-nineteenth century Chinese rebellions against colonial exploitation and ecological disasters to the Grassy Narrows' fight against mercury poisoning and colonialism to the Stonewall riots and parades for LGBT rights to Black Lives Matter, Full Spectrum Resistance's two volumes are some of the only books on activism that actually cover RESISTANCE, not just passive, risk-averse modes of activism. Author, activist, and farmer Aric McBay provides in-depth histories and case studies of social justice and environmental movements, both radical and liberal, to explain why passive resistance alone cannot work, and why we must be prepared to do whatever it takes to truly create change.

In Full Spectrum Resistance, Volume 1: Building Movements and Fighting to Win, we learn why we need resistance movements, how movements—such as the Deacons of Defense of the American Civil Rights Movement--fight when they want to win, and what makes movements effective. We also learn how and why people join movements and how we can successfully encourage them—as the anti-colonial revolution in Guinea and Cape Verde did. How groups like Act-UP form and organize themselves, and rules and practices groups use to stay secure and protected from infiltration by destructive people.

"I wrote this book because we are losing," says McBay in chapter one, and he's right. Here's how we win.


Buying options

“McBay's message of activism and community building is one that should inspire all people concerned about the future of this planet to, in his words: 'fight together for a future worth living in.'”

“For anyone who understands the urgency of the catastrophe we’re facing and is in search of an antidote to despair or resignation, McBay provides a lantern that will cut through the blunt blear and gritty exhaust all around, and offers this sizzling invitation to unleash your most radical imagination, to dive into the wreckage, and to risk winning a humane future.”

“Aric McBay's Full Spectrum Resistance, Volumes One & Two are must reads for those wanting to know more about social movement theory, strategies and tactics for social change, and the history and politics of activism and community organizing. There is nothing within the realm of social justice literature that is close to the breath about modern social movements than these books. These are engaging, critical, exciting and outstanding intersectional books that respectfully speak about the pitfalls and successes for social change.”

“A firm believer in the idea that you can't forge the future unless you understand how we got to the present, Aric gives us the backstory on so many exciting and inspiring social movements and struggles around the world that I had never heard of, and provides really important insight into some of the more familiar ones.”

“McBay has filled these volumes with illustrious examples from across the globe of resistance. Full of meaningful, personal reflections and thoughtful analysis to avoid many pitfalls holding back modern social/political movements, Full Spectrum Resistance offers strategies and tools to carry activists forward toward deeper changes in the world.”

“Aric McBay has written a remarkable book that will forever change the way you understand political resistance. We are accustomed to protests that offer a fun playbook of marches, banners, chants, and so on. But McBay is seriously committed to revolutionary transformation and he is not satisfied to examine only those protests that conform comfortably to the usual catechism of non-violence. Nor does he adopt the sociological preoccupations with the social factors that shape the collective effort. Instead, his unwavering focus is on strategies that win.”

“Drawing from both years of personal experience in social movements as well as important lessons from history, Full Spectrum Resistance is chock-full of examples of resistance movements using a diversity of tactics to fight and win. Presented from an anti-capitalist and anti-colonial perspective, this book is a manual on how to organize effective resistance movements.”


Aric McBay is an organizer, a farmer, and author of four books. He writes and speaks about effective social movements, and has organized campaigns around prison justice, Indigenous solidarity, pipelines, unionization, and other causes. You can find his work at