It became viral, during the last days of the election campaign for the municipal elections of Barcelona, a video in which Ada Colau Mayoress faced an imaginary face with Ada Colau activist. Surely it would be the most difficult face to face of those fifteen days, and probably, at least until now, the most difficult of his political career. Beyond the electoral effectiveness of the resource, the idea of producing and disseminating a video of these characteristics revealed the willingness to interrogate publicly on uncomfortable topics: Is it worth the jump to the institutions? Has the traditional policy been able to change the convictions of the activist? The difficulties encountered on the other side are really insurmountable? And, above all, does one recognize itself after four years and thousands of unexpected journeys? If you have sympathy or not for the current mayoress, they seem questions that many leaders – from the so-called old and also the new politics-should be done. The video was closed with a classic motto of the phraseology of the communes: "We must not forget where we come from and why we are here."
And here the answer is very clear: the galaxy of experiences, traditions and practices that allowed the birth of the municipal candidature that won by surprise in 2015 is based on the meeting among the sectors that always had left politics of the bipartisanship and those that were politicized within the powerful social movements that were generated in Spain in the framework of the economic crisis and the austerity responses codified, defended and applied without contemplations by the Governments of the PP from the central Executive as well as by nationalist governments (from 2012 with the participation of ERC) in the Catalan sphere.
The case of the Affiliated Mortgage Platform (PAH) – which is definitely Ada Colau – is probably the most famous, but it is not the only one. Between 2011 and 2015 many people, from diverse backgrounds, decided to "put the body": to stop evictions, to manifest themselves by the school and public health, while paying unpaid extra hours because these two services they define the democratic level of a country was not dismantled and privatized. In the same way, many women put the body to avoid any attempt to counteract abortion, or were organized to report speculation in the neighborhoods.
A bet by many people to deal with the concrete reality, based on the daily life, and always knowing that the advances would be imperfect, partial, laborious, fruit of the constant dialectic between what is desirable and what is possible. Over the years, despite the fact that the "window of opportunity" is being closed, the restoration of the system -and the left- of a new spring of the PSOE, impossible to imagine without the impulse substantial of the competition with Podem and the confluences -, that do not deceive the optical effect: those experiences marked the country deeply and changed the political agenda. Only to focus on the case of the city of Barcelona: in a campaign, there was no talk of prioritizing the fight against climate change, of requiring the fiscal and social responsibility of companies, social services for citizenship, regulation of rents, municipalization of resources and services, the role of cities in the world as guarantees of refuge and rights, a city designed for and for women, the government responsible for tourism to prevent it The neighborhoods are cleared, regulating the activity of multinational giants operating in our city.
It is true that it is not enough to place issues on the political agenda. It is also not a determined first term, determined by the difficulty of learning in a record time, with most of the powers against and with the omnipresence of a conservative device by antonomasia, such as the tension identity But, ultimately, the race for the mayor of Barcelona is summarized in this: consolidating, improving, socializing, widening – even beyond the particular partisans – the fruits of that cycle started in the street in 2011, because have an institutional translation. With the decision to choose the mayor, and already knowing that the path will be imperfect, laborious, fruit of the inevitable dialectic between what is desirable and what is possible, Ada Colau has once again put the body.
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