People: Mark Montegriffo – Activist, Journalist, and the future of Socialism in Gibraltar


Mark Montegriffo is an heir of the old Gibraltarian left; yet not as it exists today. Influenced by thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci and leaders like Tony Benn, Mark’s writing and activism, his political engagement and activity, is drawn upon the traditions of the socialist labour movement stemming from centuries of class struggle.

“Whether it’s in journalism or the actual on-the-streets activism... with whatever group I’m with I’ve kept in my mind the need to push the needle towards justice. I think where that ends up is in a really radical revisiting of what society means, and meeting the reality where it is. What that reality requires is radical change”. A radical change, he notes, that Gibraltarians might not have a certain appetite for.

“I know people don’t like to hear that, especially in Gibraltar where we’re very comfortable”, he said. Yet, “Gibraltar like any other place is a victim to the economic system in which it inhabits. There are battles to fight on the left in Gibraltar and anywhere else, and in my evolution as an activist and a writer I’ve kept that in mind: how best to turn that tide and momentum in a way to a more just society”.


Mark has worked on numerous projects both at home and overseas. In the US he worked closely with DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) chapters during the 2018 election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into Congress, attending conferences with both herself and Bernie Sanders.

In the UK he worked alongside Extinction Rebellion, famous for their acts of ‘civil disobedience’, a strategy entailing of being purposely arrested for blocking traffic to overflow the legal system in order for government demands to be met.

He has also written for prominent left-wing news source Jacobin Magazine, his recent article highlighting cross-border solidarity between Gibraltar and Spain.

An example of his work in Madrid was during the GOP25 where “liberal nations come to clean their hands and pretend they’re doing something”. His presence there, alongside demonstrators, was to say ‘these solutions are not radical enough’. However, police arrived at the scene surprisingly quickly. Mark himself was surrounded by 12 and stripped of his possessions then kept in a van for some time.

He assures us that he “hasn’t been arrested YET” but it highlights the sort of danger involved in any real radical confrontation to indifference and therefore injustice.

“Wherever I’ve been, in the past few years certainly I’ve tried to ingrain myself in the left of that country”. The left as an internationalist movement (capital and labour is a global relation) means that Mark is never hindered by national boundaries. Bernie Sanders is a good example of this, his movement gaining enormous traction in the US, coincided with the Corbyn movement in the UK; Mélenchon in France; Unidas Podemos in Spain.

“I think everybody in the working class struggle deserves time and deserves energy. I think the only form of real solidarity has to be international and we can talk about that in the Gibraltar context if you like”.

On the 4th of July Gibraltar will be holding a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration organised by Mark Montegriffo. This protest examples the form of international solidarity inherent in the labour movement, traditionally anti-racist as well as anti-capitalist.

It is an opportunity to “to put a grain of sand in there for people who are maybe on the left and who want to look at societal injustices and start talking to each other and start thinking about, for instance, how do we deal with the systemic racism against the Moroccan community; who both on class lines and race lines are marginalised”. You have “to pay attention to what really radicalises people”; whether it is the image of Chileans singing ‘El Pueblo Unido’ in unison or the knee on George Floyd’s neck.