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About Julian Sayarer

Julian Sayarer writes at (this is not for charity). The site and blog arose from his 2009 world record for a circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle, a protest against the corporatisation of sport and human endeavour. You can buy his account of the adventure, Life Cycles, locally on Hive. His latest book, Interstate, is published by Arcadia Books.

Articles by Julian Sayarer

This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why hitching across the USA led me to give £2500 to the ACLU

Julian Sayarer explains why, inspired by his trans-USA hitchhike and by John Berger's example, he is donating £2500 of his Stanford Dolman award, to the ACLU.

US roadside politics: guns, meat and engines

Far away from the closed-off politics of Washington, a trip through rural America reveals some very different sources of empowerment.

"Beef with Byron": the restaurant on the frontlines of the immigration debate

After the deportation of 35 workers, Byron is mired in a debate that sets the restaurant's 'business ethics' against the politics surrounding immigration.

Power and precarity: the class politics of the Labour leadership race

Labour's hotly-contested leadership election is underpinned by issues of class and poverty. Yet the class dynamics at play are seldom openly addressed.

Our outsourced, shadow state

The outsourcing of public services to private contractors has transformed the state. What has gone wrong, why and what can be done?  A review of "Shadow State" by Alan White.

Trump & the real need to “figure out what is going on”

Trump said he wanted to bar Muslims from entering the country "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on”. Only the right sort of figuring would be an antidote to Trump.

Some numbers are more important than others

The imbalances between buying into Labour vs. buying into the Conservatives must be addressed to advance a successful ‘Corbynmania’.

Corbyn versus Snark

Bob Dylan provides a sound-track for Britains' liberal commentariat post-Corbyn: "something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?”

Postcapitalism and the refugee crisis

The response of European citizens to the imperative to offer refuge has been inspiring, unlike the response of some governments. It shows the best face of postcapitalism.

A hotchpotch of hope

The Labour Party machinery has long been prone to imagining outcomes within the narrowest, safest, and statistically verifiable ranges of business as usual. No wonder it’s panicking over the ‘Corbyn surge’.  

In surprisingly fine fettle: the Turkish election

Grassroots social movements of the style seen at Occupy can be converted into actions that will force their relevance upon established political structures.

Cheer up ‘Bifo’—history hasn’t ended yet

What’s the relationship between capitalism and mental health? A review of Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi’s Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide.

12 mph politics - the conversation

Breaking records, hospitality, racism, poverty, globalisation and two concepts of hope ... the film of an evening of conversation around "Life Cycles", Julian Sayarer's account of his record-breaking cycling circumnavigation of the globe

Protest and consent - Parliament Square and the internet

Why are Britons so outraged about limits to their online freedoms but completely oblivious to the extraordinary restrictions on basic democratic rights that they are now subject to?

Occupydemocracy: questions and limitations of a protest

The people camping outside Parliament under constant police harassment deserve more than our indifference.

Political bicycles and the Living Wage tour

Bicycles unavoidably put humans into contact with the world around them and with each other. In his Life Cycles Living Wage tour this autumn, Julian Sayarer will cycle more than 1,000 miles across 12 venues in the UK to support the Living Wage Foundation. 

Disobedient Objects - you must go

Disobedient Objects is not a UK exhibition of well-designed protest materials. Disobedient Objects is a protest.

Day 138 - Atchafalaya - 14.438 Miles

Extracted from "Life Cycles" (reviewed here), in which Julian, racing around the world on his bike, accepts the hospitality of the bayou-dwelling Lemoine family, and confronts the contradictions of their generosity and their racism

A Turkish Spring?

Should Cameron, Obama, Hollande and Merkel remain tight-lipped about the disorder spreading across Turkey, we must conclude it is because they regard the measure of police force as an expedient that they themselves could ultimately resort to. 

Beauty, burgers and Wilde's blue china: on the power of aesthetics

Do the "consumers of radicalism" Jon Moses refers to in his recent essay actually exist? An exploration of beauty and rebellion, through the lens of our relationship to the aesthetic.

Socialism in one country... and English football's Premier League

The beautiful game is rotting because of its place in the global economy: meaningful participation and attachment is being commodified, a process which brings great whooshes of cash into football. Can the game be fixed for the better?

'The BNP lost their way' and other gems from the Midlands

A self-confessed member of the London bubble ventures home to pole dancing, burger van politics and the final arrival of organic yoghurt.

openDemocracy: The price of principles

Julian Sayarer's post at in support of openDemocracy

Cycling through Reading or Kazakhstan: otherness is not what it seems

Rape in India, protest in China, manufacturing conferences in Manchester - we find it hard not to think in the categories of "first" and "third" worlds. But look elsewhere for the important differences

Generation Rent: stop blogging, start acting

When everyone wants to be the 'voice of the lost generation', who will do the finding?

Is the end of cheap food just an agricultural problem

Food is getting scarce - and expensive. This is no longer news. But can we really confine ourselves to thinking about the agricultural end of this problem?


Twicktivism: could the illusion of power be potent after all?

The criticism of clicktivism may be well founded - that it is a substitute for action, a feel-dummy that makes life easier for the perpetrators of injustice. The author reflects on his participation in recent bicycle activism to offer the optimistic twist that an illusion of power could give people a taste for the real thing.

Is inflation a good tax? Can we have an honest political discussion about it?

UK inflation at 5% is considered almost a victory by the economic managers of the nation. Yet it is a blunt instrument with strong redistributive effects. So what is a well-managed currency, and can we have an honest political discussion about it?

OurKingdom forum: The fall of Murdoch - What next?

An ongoing forum in which OurKingdom authors consider why the fall of Rupert Murdoch has taken place, what it tells us about the state of Britain and what the key lesson are for the media and government.

Redistribution in property-constrained economy: raising the minimum wage or lowering effective rents?

Rising rents in the UK are making hardship harder, while low interest rates transfer wealth from the have-not's to the have's. Can we be doing something more sensible?

Why stop at England's forests? The land itself should belong to the people

The campaign against the privatisation of England's public forests succeeded due to a powerful sense that we, the people, own our woodlands. Yet why stop here? Isn't the land itself a common asset of the nation? Julian Sayarer argues for the imposition of a land value tax.
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