Solidarity Without Borders

Martin Bak Jørgensen and Mark Bergfeld

This presentation will consider the micropolitics of migrants as political actors by observing alliances between migrants and trade unions, worker organizations and different constituencies from a Gramscian context.

Solidarity Without Borders presents an argument for Gramsci’s theory of the formation of a transnational counter-hegemonic bloc, methods of modern resistance and new forms of solidarity between these groups in formation. With case studies of the Gezi Park Protests in Turkey, social movements in Ireland and the Lampedusa in Hamburg among others, the argument is explored via national contexts and structured around political dimensions.

These four essential themes of our times are discussed: the diversity of new migrant political actors; solidarity and new alliances across borders; avoiding misplaced alliances; and spaces of resistance. Migrants are often deprived of agency and placed outside the mobilizations taking place across Europe. Solidarity Without Borders will demonstrate how new solidarity relations are shaped and how these may construct a new common ground for struggle and for developing political alternatives.

Martin Bak Jørgensen is Associate Professor at CoMID at the Department for Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark. He helped to start the initiative Democratic Transformations to bring researchers and activists closer together.

Mark Bergfeld is a writer and organizer. He has written for media outlets such as Al-Jazeera English, the Nation, New Statesman among others. He has been active in social movements in Europe and served on the Executive Council of the National Union of students in the UK. He currently is writing his PhD on the relationship between trade unions and immigrant workers at Queen Mary University of London.