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Fearless Cities

A global, municipalist network.

Around the world, towns and cities are standing up to defend human rights, democracy and the common good. The Fearless Cities summit allowed municipalist movements to build global networks of solidarity and hope in the face of hate, walls and borders. The summit in Barcelona saw political debate, policy exchange, and practical workshops with mayors, councilors and municipalist movements transforming society from below.


The rising tide for the democratic control of water in Barcelona

Barcelona’s battle to take its water company back under public ownership is reaching its climax in the courts and at the ballot box.

"We need a feminist constitution"

How is anyone going to go to work if no-one does the ironing, cooks, or looks after the children? I think putting this issue on the table is one of the great victories of March 8. An interview.

"Politics can be a space for coexistence"

Áurea Carolina de Freitas e Silva: "We have to show people that we are capable of making democracy something worthwhile". Español 

Latin America: fertile ground for political innovations

Within the framework of this year's "Fearless Cities" summit, Fundación Avina and DemocraciaAbierta established a special collaboration to explore the most innovative poltical experiences arising from Latin America. Español Português Check the project here

The power of a transformative city

“The local was where democracy was born; it is now where we will recover it.” Fearless Cities.

Radical municipalism: demanding the future

‘Municipal politics’ may raise new types of demands crucial in organising powerful social movements and improving material conditions, while orienting us towards new understandings of what is possible. 

Sanctuary and refuge cities

At Fearless Cities –  we catch up with the Coordinator of the Refuge City Plan of Barcelona City Council, and two fellow panellists, activists from Berlin, Germany and Philadelphia, USA.

A new international municipalist movement is on the rise – from small victories to global alternatives

In a world stuck between neoliberal crisis and authoritarianism, a reinvigorated municipalist movement is proving a powerful tool to build emancipatory alternatives from the ground up.

Eight lessons from Barcelona en Comú on how to Take Back Control

After 20 months in charge of Barcelona, here are eight things we have learned from Ada Colau and Barcelona en Comú.

How to build a movement-party: lessons from Rosario’s Future City

Passive, spectator politics is not an option. It is up to the activists to prove that maintaining a party in movement is possible over the long term. Español

Introducing this week's special theme: 'Cities of welcome, cities of transit'

openDemocracy and its partners brought activists, academics, and policy makers together in Barcelona late last July to discuss a way forward for refugee-related activism and city welcome policies. 

Barcelona: city of refuge

Barcelona seeks to welcome refugees and migrants into the fabric of the city, but its efforts have been stymied by the national government.

A European network of rebel cities?

In Europe, it is the cities that once again lead the way as places of radical innovation and democratic renewal - and provide answers to the challenges we face in our continent. Español

More than a welcome: the power of cities

What is the scope for circumventing the national and EU deadlock over migration, and what role can cities, together with solidarity movements, play in overcoming this crisis?

The open source city as the transnational democratic future

Open source local government is the first step towards scaling up new public policy spheres and interwoven citizen practices that can make neoliberalism unnecessary. Español

Beyond Ada Colau: the common people of Barcelona en Comú

Since the launch of Barcelona en Comú less than a year ago, Colau has taken pains to emphasize that she is just the most visible face of a movement that is horizontal in structure and collective in spirit.

Towards a new municipal agenda in Spain

How did Spain's activist-politicians first get onto the ballot paper? Spain's media should take note - through their roots in prominent local struggles and willingness to spearhead radical democratic participation.

First we take Barcelona...

This spring, Barcelona has become, once again, the battleground for the radical soul of Europe.

Reinventing urban democracy in Barcelona

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. Español.

Let's win back Barcelona!

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. 

The resilience of neoliberal urbanism

Resilience, the latest urban policy and think tank buzzword extolled upon the world's urban dwellers, operates as an insidious alias to dispossession and territorial stigmatisation.

Barcelona i Catalunya: the real thing

The scholar of world politics and openDemocracy columnist Fred Halliday lived and worked in - and fell in love with - Barcelona. In a warm essay written five months before he died on 26 April 2010, Fred celebrates the home of his last years.

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