food riots

Sudan: The Dictator Goes but the Regime Lives On

Since December last year Sudan has been seething but it now looks like the Army have reasserted control. What started as bread riots last December, in the historic working class city of Atbara, transformed itself into a campaign of mass civil disobedience.

1989: Venezuela Caracazo food riots

In the 1980s Venezuela was suffering a major economic crisis, in response the government imposed extreme austerity policies that led to massive hikes in the cost of food, fuel and services. By 1989 protests had erupted and escalated to major rioting and government imposed a state of emergency.

The Crisis of the Sudanese Regime

It was the tripling of bread prices which sparked off the current revolt in Sudan. People first took to the streets in the town of Atbara in north eastern Sudan on 19 December 2018, but they did not restrict their demands to bread even though some had not managed to find any in four days. They had had enough of the brutal military dictatorship of Omar Hassan al-Bashir which has ruled the country since 1989. The protestors not only demanded “freedom, peace, and justice” but also echoed the slogan of the 2011 Arab Spring that “the people want the fall of the regime.” As a symbol of their wider political demands, the ruling party headquarters in Atbara was burned to the ground.

Protests across Sudan against austerity measures and price rises

Qassim Badri attacks a student

Protests have erupted across Sudan in response to a doubling of bread prices. At least one high school student has been killed, and the Dean of a womens' university was filmed beating protesting students in Khartoum.

Squatters and the State: Back Street Politics in the Islamic Republic - Asef Bayat

Map of Iran showing Mashhad

The early 1990s saw a period of renewed urban popular uprisings in Iran, unprecedented since the 1979 revolution. From August 1991 to August 1994, six major upheavals took place in Tehran, Shiraz, Arak, Mashhad, Ghazvin and Tabriz, and there were frequent minor clashes in many other urban centers. Most of these incidents involved urban squatters concerned with the destruction in their communities. This was the case in Tehran, Shiraz, Arak, Mashhad and Khorramabad.

Port Adelaide struggles, 1928-1931

Strikers congregate near the police station

Photo gallery of the strikes and riots at Port Adelaide in Australia which began in 1928 when the employers introduced new working conditions. They cut workers' break time - when workers already did 16 to 48 hour shifts, and crucially strengthened the "bull system", whereby bosses would handpick workers. This meant not only workers having to wait around for hours each day to potentially not get any work but also that union workers could be denied hiring. Union leaders rapidly called off the action but workers continued to fight for three years.

Damn his charity, we'll have the cheese for naught! Nottingham's great cheese riot and other 1766 food riots - Valentine Yarnspinner

Illustration of a protest to reduce the price of grain

Superb pamphlet by Valentine Yarnspinner published by the People's Histreh group about a cheese riot in Nottingham in 1766, and other food riots of the time.

Bread riots down supply chains: From Cairo to Longview

Map of Global Food Crisis

One of the forms in which the working class exists today is at the various nodal points along global commodity chains. Even the global production of food is increasingly based on a just-in-time system of production, distribution and consumption -- in addition to being financialized and subject to speculative bubbles. But these commodity chains are vulnerable and this suggests struggles could spread down these chains.

The moral economy of the English crowd in the eighteenth century - E. P. Thompson

E. P. Thompson's ground-breaking article on the English food riots of the 1700 and 1800s.

Flight from the land and food riots

Excellent article by Wildcat Germany analysing the food crisis and the global agricultural industry under capitalism.