“Fearless Cities” was the name of the inaugural international municipalist meeting that took place in Barcelona on June 9-11. It was hosted by Barcelona en Comu (Barcelona Together, the radical citizen-based coalition which runs Barcelona Council in alliance with the Party of Socialists of Catalonia).
Nothing alarms Spain’s establishment more than the prospect of the unity of the Spanish state being threatened by the desire for self-determination of the peoples that live within its borders.
The struggle to build a united left force with enough support to implement real social and environmental change took a crucial step forward in Barcelona on April 8.
On a bright spring day, the new Catalan “political subject” provisionally called Un Pais En Comu (“A Country Together”) held its founding congress.
The group, whose definitive name will be decided by membership referendum, is the third Catalan left unity project with “en comu” (“together”) in its title.
Hundreds of thousands of people overflowed the streets of central Barcelona on February 20 in the largest ever European demonstration in support of refugee rights. The city police estimated attendance at 160,000 people; the organisers — the “Our House, Your House” campaign — put it at half a million people.
All along the vast march, its thematic sea-blue placards stood out in the light of the bright winter’s day: “Enough excuses! Let’s take them in now!"
The slogan “We Want to Welcome Them” rang in the streets as up to half a million people demonstrated in Barcelona on February 18 to demand their government accept more refugees. It came after Spain accepted just 1000 of the 17,000 it had promised.
"It is very important that in a Europe of uncertainty where xenophobia is on the rise for Barcelona to be a capital of hope," said Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau, who took part.
This year will be the year of the showdown between Catalonia and the Spanish state over whether the Catalan people have a right to vote on self-determination in relation to Spain.
The year starts with the final battle lines already drawn in the contest between the right-wing Spanish-patriotic People’s Party (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the pro-independence Catalan government, headed by Carles Puigdemont.
By some estimates, more than 1 million people came out across Catalonia on September 11 for Catalonia’s national day (the Diada) to show their support for Catalan sovereignty and — for most present — for Catalan independence from the Spanish state.