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“It was one of the most formative moments in my life. I was sitting in a cold, drab Oxford lecture room in my first year of university waiting for my prof, Marxist thinker Erik Swyngedouw. He finally burst into the room with a cup of coffee in his hand and asked in his distinctive Belgian accent, “Can you see this coffee?” The obvious answer was, “Yes, of course I can see this cup.” What, I wondered, was this guy getting at?

But it soon became clear that this wasn’t going to be my usual dazed and drowsy experience wallowing at the back of the lecture theatre. “You can see the coffee, but can you see the fields of Guatemala? Can you see the EU tariffs? Can you see the coffee workers’ pay slips?” I soon realized what he was getting at. The world as it is didn’t just happen. It is the way it is because of people, because of laws, because of attitudes.”

– Luke Sherlock, Oxford UK, Adbusters Issue #85, Sep/Oct 2009


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