Colau, a social activist with no prior political experience, brought
unprecedented change to the Catalan capital on Sunday when she became
Barcelona’s most-voted mayoral candidate."[El Pais]
Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in common)
is a new formation, a grassroots-based electoral platform with several
left-wing parties and new formations and a high percentage of social
activists related to the Spanish Revolution, known in Spain as 15M or the Indignados. With this grassroots activism spirit, it focuses on ending inequalities an corruption viewing the city as horizon for radical democracy and focusing on a citizen campaign, with members of social movements feeding part of the program proposals.
Radical female mayors. On Monday the mayors of Spain’s two biggest cities could be women elected on the basis of deeply rooted citizen’s campaigns. Ada
Colau of Barcelona en Comú is known and beloved across Spain as the
spokesperson of the housing rights network PAH. PAH is the perhaps most
interesting and strong movement emerging from the Spanish crisis, and it
has more than 200 generally active and combative chapters across the
Spanish state. 6 Reasons to Care about the Spanish Municipal Elections
wing parties from Catalonia and Spain have been attacking BeC right
from the beginning. Even the coalition's original name (Guanyem, Let's win)
was stolen when someone else patented the name to force them out of the
municipal elections. Political commentary against BeC is oozing with
classist, sexist and racist comments, from the TV gossips on how chubby
Ada looks or how she doesn't wear much make-up to last night's full-blow
on social networks, scoffing at how the headquarters of Barcelona en
Comú was "full of South Americans" (meaning it's not really a Catalan option).
it's not a matter of Catalans vs Spanish or foreigners, it's a matter
of social class and inequalities. The map of leading votes according to
Barcelona districts shows how Convergencia i Unió, the party ruling
Catalonia and that has just lost the Town Hall, is voted massively
uptown. Barcelona en Comú was voted in the working class neighbourhoods,
where the constant austerity measures have caused the most harm.
Distribution of votes by districts in Barcelona, May 24th 2015. Blue: CiU. Conservative, ruling party in Catalonia. Voted uptown. Pinkish: Barcelona en Comú, voted in working class disctricts.
Bonus: Sex worker in the District Council!
Another fantastic piece of news from the May 24th elections in Barcelona: Paula Ezquerra, a member of the Putas Indignadas (indignant prostitutes) the First Spanish lobby for sex workerscreated in Catalonia, a feminist, social activist, immigrant sex worker, is going to be a legal representative of a left wing, independentist party as a councillor in the District Council
downtown, where prostitutes and immigrants keep being harassed by the
police. She's going to be sitting next to the right-wing District
Councillor whom used to treat her with contempt and scorn when Paula
brought up issues regarding discrimination towards prostitutes. The new
composition of this neighbourhood council (with a majority of Barcelona
en Comú councilors) will help change many things downtown, specially
regarding the ethnic profiling and neighbourhood harrassment by police
forces, argumenting a need to control the small, narrow streets. We're so excited!
* No, it's not really the Indignados who are ruling, but it is true that many people in Barcelona en Comú and in other formations that have achieved representatives in town halls, or even have become Mayors, come from grassroots organizations and, yes, the 15M - indignados movement. **By the way, Madrid has also surprised the right-wing hegemony with Manuela Carmena's sudden rise, the Podemos-backed Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now). And Spain's ruling PP gets worst local election result in 20 years!