Barcelona's citizens are setting aside the historical baggage of the
nineteenth and twentieth century struggles of industrial workers movements, inventing
a newly resonant language of rights and democracy.
On March 19, hundreds of thousands of Basque citizens will participate in an initiative that passes a baton from hand to hand without interruption; the same baton that has become a symbol of the Basque language itself.
Never before has it become so clear that we live in societies that are politically
democratic but socially fascist. The Podemos wave is a metaphor for every
single attempt to find a progressive solution.
An edited translation of the recent interview between bestselling author Thomas Piketty and Pablo Iglesias, leader of the Spanish political party Podemos, originally broadcast on Otra Vuelta de Tuerka (‘Another Turn of the Screw’) was exclusive to Juncture Online and is republished here with their kind permission.
El objetivo principal de Podemos es aglutinar una amplia
mayoría, lo que en la práctica significa poner en pie un partido de clases
medias que deje atrás el eje Derecha/Izquierda y ocupe la centralidad política. English.
goal of Podemos is to marshal an ample majority, which means in practice to build
a middle-class party, and to give up the traditional Left/Right axis for a
position of centrality. Español.
is an appeal to all women and men who have had enough and are seeking to bring
about a true social and political transformation in Spain, in Europe and
beyond. It is an urgent appeal because the danger that triggers it is imminent, clear and distinct, but avoidable.
Yet more political corruption throughout Spain;
calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation; a new left-wing party challenging
bipartisan politics. Is the Spanish electorate ready to change the rules of the
The rise of new left leaders such as Alexis Tsipras in Greece and Pablo Iglesias in Spain reflects a new desire for leadership and political representation at odds with the neoanarchist culture that has for long dominated the radical left and influenced the movements of 2011.
Guanyem Barcelona is a
citizen platform that has embarked on a mission to solve the current Spanish
political crises with their own hands. This increasingly popular political
movement aims to remove power from elites and bring democracy to the people.
and Catalonia within it, is now exhausted from an unprecedented and exceedingly
destructive economic crisis which has triggered a vast social crisis that has ended
up in a serious political crisis.
markets are subject to European regulation, if redistribution is increasingly
coming under threat, and if the inhabitants of Catalonia prefer a different
combination of public services, why should it have to share the same state structures
Today in Catalonia young people grow up bilingual. It also occurs in other parts of Europe. But here a small miracle has taken place; a tradition and a culture that were in danger of being lost have been recovered.
New forms of urban struggle have been emerging in Barcelona.
The reconstruction of the Can Vies social centre, half demolished by the state
in a botched eviction, has been an inspiring example. But other sites of occupation are under threat.