In a single tumultuous year, workers at the University of London have faced up to their bosses with militant, independently organised and victorious resistance.
The University has seen mass pickets by cleaners, caterers, students and other insubordinates, arm in arm before the gates of a paint splattered university HQ. Watching through clenched teeth and the multiple lenses of their surveillance equipment, management have seen this too, and have sought to restore exploitation in the only way they know how — with lies, evasion - and straightforward violence.
This fight was always about more than the university. Televisions blare out the news of our continued impoverishment: tuition fees up, wages down, No benefits for you! No pay for you! Repayment dates and overdue rent. “Seek assistance” the barriers scream. Another fiver today. Tomorrow, another.
But in school classrooms and underground stations, amongst the underpaid of the opera houses and cinemas, something stirs: Disaffection is finding its feet. The people that capital likes to imagine are solidly under its thumb are taking the fight back to the bosses.
On this tumblr page you will find a lot of stuff that you can also find on www.mdbergfeld.com The reason I use tumblr is because someone told me that it's what you do these days.
You lecture at a university and wonder why your pay is so low? You study at a university and wonder why the fees are so high? You clean the corridors and wonder why you receive no holiday, sick pay or pension?
It’s all gone into the pockets of Vice-Chancellors. At the University of Northampton, the VC earned more than 200k last year. Here he is acting like Jordan Belfort in the Wolf of Wall Street. #wolfofnorthampton
As one of my best university lecturers told me in my first year at university: S**t floats on top!
Last summer I was at a meeting with the German economist Heiner Flassbeck. He asked what effect the eurozone crisis would have on the capitalist centre in Europe in the next five years. He answered in an unusual calm manner that we would see the first female and fascist President in France. Most people responded in shock and awe. After this weekend this is doesn’t seem to far off.
The Daily Telegraph writes:
"Marine Le Pen, the FN leader, the anti-EU and anti-immigration party gained at least 10 per cent of the vote in 229 towns across France, qualifying them to run in the second round of elections on March 30.
Although it only won five per cent of the vote nationally, the FN’s success was proportionally high as it only fielded candidates in fewer than 600 of the 37,000 villages, towns and cities in France.”
One would expect the FN to poll better in local elections yet this is a massive gain of historic dimensions!
While I wouldn’t go as far as Flassbeck I think that Hollande is finished, the UMP in disarray and Marine LePen has at one and the same time pushed the FN further into the centre and French politics further to the right than her father would have ever dreamt of.
In the meantime, the far-right and fascists have mobilized repeatedly and more violently than in the last few decades. The demonstrations against gay marriage were unprecedented in size and militantly right-wing provoking violent clashes in Paris. The murder of the 15-year old antifascist activist Clement is another example of this new found confidence.
Let’s hope that the anti-capitalist, socialist and social-democratic left can unite in joint action against the FN, racism, bigotry and the permanent state of austerity!
Today more than a million people marched against the Troika’s austerity policies in the Spanish state. This is the culmination of more than 1.5 years of work by the so-called Mareas. Once again, encampments are being set up as you can see on one of the photos [courtesy: Alioscia Castronovo]
Here is the photo report from Russia Today: http://rt.com/news/spain-protest-cuts-crisis-509/
And another report from Euro Weekly News:https://www.euroweeklynews.com/news/spanish-news/item/119477-marchers-converge-on-madrid-to-protest-austerity-measures
So far the mainstream media has said little to nothing about this remarkable event. Spread the word!