Food Fights Against Austerity

Man looking for food in a suzmpster

Man looking for food in a dumpster

This article was first published on Climate and Capitalism

In August 2012 two hundred members of the Andalusian fieldworker union SAT organised a ‘food expropriation’. They walked into the local Carrefour and Mercandor supermarkets, loaded their trolleys with rice, beans, potatoes, bread – and left without paying a single Cent. (more…)

NEW WEBSITE

This website will no longer be in use. I will be publishing things on http://www.mdbergfeld.com from now on.

Interview with Dan Swain: Marx’s Theory of Alienation

Dan Swain is an activist and writer. He is currently working on a PhD in Marxism and Ethics at the University of Essex. His book Alienation: An Introduction to Marx’s Theory has been shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing. I interviewed him. The interview was first published on socialistproject.ca

Make sure to buy Dan Swain's book

Make sure to buy Dan Swain’s book

Mark Bergfeld (MB): Marx used the philosophic theme of alienation throughout the 1840s. His later works such as Capital (1867) tend to focus on political economy and social science. Books on Capital pop-up like wild flowers these days. Books on alienation are a rarity. What made you write about Marx’s theory of Alienation?

Dan Swain (DS): I wrote about alienation for my master’s thesis, in which I was particularly interested in the way in which the idea of alienation can form an ethical core to Marx’s wider critique of society. I found that a lot of the books about alienation that are out there are highly academic, and many of them are decades old, and so are stuck in older debates which are less relevant to today. It was great to get the opportunity to write something accessible, and in the process help me get clearer about my own ideas. (more…)

#Marx2012 – Social Media and Social Movements

New struggles, new unions? On the Pop-Up Union at Sussex University

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This article was first published in Ceasefire Magazine

April 18, 2013

A piece on an innovative trade union tactic pioneered by workers fighting privatisation at Sussex University

The struggle at Sussex University is the latest in a series of student rebellions against austerity and neoliberalism in our universities. Occupy Sussex held Bramber House for 55 days and called a successful 2,000-strong demonstration against the outsourcing of 235 non-academic jobs. It has shown us how students can resist university managers implementing their new fees regime.

The response by trade unions at Sussex University has, in contrast, lagged behind. The three campus unions – Unison, Unite and UCU – have finally called a membership consultation ballot nearly a year after the campaign began. But this welcome step forward would not have happened without a new factor: the Pop-Up Union recently founded by Sussex workers, which has pushed for ballots, built and supported Occupy Sussex, and argued for escalating the battle against Sussex management. (more…)

Cimora.info: London Calling – intervista a Mark Bergfeld

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Mattia Gallo, an Italian activist journalist closely associated with my friends from UniCommon interviewed me about the crisis in Higher Education, attacks on the welfare state and the prospects for resistance to austerity in Britain. It was first published here as well with my friends at UNICOMMON

Un recente passato di proteste, un autunno di manifestazioni, l’occupazione della Sussex University nel mese di febbraio: il movimento studentesco inglese e le sfide che si pone davanti.

Mark Bergfeld, membro dell’Education Activist Network di Londra, già membro del sindacato nazionale studentesco e tra i leader delle manifestazioni studentesche del novembre/ dicembre 2010, attualmente sta lavorando su una ricerca riguardo i movimenti studenteschi in Cile ed in Quebec. Ha partecipato all’Happening Euromediterraneo tenutosi esattamente due anni fa a Roma, ed ha risposto ad alcune domande.  (more…)

M26 Trafalgar Square: A report

img00271-20110326-1242This was first published on Turn Trafalgar into Tahrir, an initiative by students, trade unionists, MPs and community groups on March 26, 2011. I was one of the main initiators. This was written the day after the square had been violently cleared by the police. 

This Saturday over half a million people took to the streets in the biggest anti-government demonstration since the invasion of Iraq. Trade unionists and community activists from around the country rallied together. The supermarket of the super-rich, Fortnum and Mason, was occupied and shut-down along with many outlets owned by tax-dodger and government cuts advisor Philip Green. Several general secretaries called for strike action.
(more…)

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