From squatter to Barcelona's Mayor!

[Originally posted in Fighting Against Prejudices]

I'm too excited and sleepless to really focus on a post on this, but I think it's worth mentioning this in Fighting Against Prejudices:
On May 24th Ada Colau, former squatter and long-time social activist famous due to the platform against evictions and housing crisis La PAH, became the first woman who will be the Mayor of Barcelona.

"Ada 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
Right 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).

But 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 workers created 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!

Paula Ezquerra, from Putas Indignadas and Capgirem Barcelona - CUP

* 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!

More info:

No hay comentarios: