Barcelona’s Complex Struggle to Advance the Commons

On a visit to Barcelona last week, I learned a great deal about the City’s pioneering role in developing “the city as a commons.”  I also learned that crystallizing a new commons paradigm – even in a city committed to cooperatives and open digital networks – comes with many gnarly complexities.

The Barcelona city government is led by former housing activist Ada Colau, who was elected mayor in May 2015.  She is a leader of the movement that became the political party Barcelona En Comú (“Barcelona in Common”). Once in office,Image result for barcelona commons

Colau halted the expansion of new hotels, a brave effort to prevent “economic development” (i.e., tourism) from hollowing out the city’s lively, diverse neighborhoods. As a world city, Barcelona is plagued by a crush of investors and speculators buying up real estate, making the city unaffordable for ordinary people. Continue reading “Barcelona’s Complex Struggle to Advance the Commons”

Spain’s Citizen Candidates to “Lead by Obeying your Orders” ?

…the new wave of local politicians arrive with anarchist methods of direct democracy… but how long before they are sucked int the mashine?…

Spain’s ‘citizen candidates’ shake up politics

At municipal elections, grassroots politicians are gaining support with pledges to fight corruption and austerity.ADA
A man gestures with his mouth gagged as dozens of protesters shout slogans before local elections [AP]

Continue reading “Spain’s Citizen Candidates to “Lead by Obeying your Orders” ?”

¿ Barcelona Council to be taken by Feminists ?

Is Barcelona on the verge of a feminist revolution?

by Kate Shea Baird on April 7, 2015  first printed in ROAR

Ada Colau and the other women involved in the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú are showing how municipal politics can be feminized from the bottom up.

ada colauSomething special is happening in Barcelona. At the local elections in May, the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common) could snatch control of the city council. If it succeeds, the consequences for the women of Barcelona and, perhaps, cities all over the world, could be radical.A victory for Barcelona en Comú would catapult anti-eviction activist Ada Colau into the mayoralty. Continue reading “¿ Barcelona Council to be taken by Feminists ?”
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