From protest to power in Barcelona:
What we can learn from the radical citizens’ platform Barcelona en Comú
Anke Kleff, member of Barcelona en Comú’s International Committee
Hilary Wainwright, co-editor of Red Pepper and author of A New Politics from the Left (Polity, 2018)
In 2015, the radical citizen’s platform Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in common) came first in the city’s municipal elections. Housing activist Ada Colau became Barcelona’s first female mayor and the organisation brought grassroots democracy to City Hall.
BComú ran citizens’ assemblies in every neighbourhood both before and after the elections and had plans to implement a host of socially-just policies, from a publicly-owned sustainable energy provider to reversing the privatisation of the water system, to supporting local food sovereignty. They implemented a groundbreaking ethical politics code and initiated a programme of mass democratic engagement to determine the administration’s priorities.
In 2017, BComú’s International Committee organised an international Fearless Cities conference, bringing together radical city governments and citizens’ platforms from Grenoble in France to Valparaíso in Chile. Join Global Justice Now, BComú’s Anke Kleff and new left politics expert Hilary Wainwright to hear the inspiring story of BComú and discuss what we can learn from it for our political practice in the UK and elsewhere.
Meeting hosted by:
Global Justice Now London region, Our Future Now, Red Pepper