From the Indignados Movement to "Barcelona En Comú": Continuities, Identities and Challenges

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:25
Location: Seminarsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Viviana ASARA, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria
Anna SUBIRATS, European University Institute, Italy
In June 2014 emerged ‘Guanyem Barcelona’, a new citizens’ platform for municipal elections born out of the Indignados movement (and previous movements linked to it), later transformed in February of the following year into ‘Barcelona en Comú’ (BeC) through the support of other political formations and parties on the left side of the political spectrum.  Less than one year after its original constitution (May 2015), BeC won the city council elections. It represents, together with Podemos, Ahora Madrid, or Marea Atlántica, a new wave of political parties and confluences emerged out of and weaved together with the Indignados movement (or 15-M movement).

This paper aims to explore the continuities between 15-M in Barcelona and BeC, focusing on the relationship between institutional and non-institutional dynamics, party and movement. More than analysing the emergence of the party, we want to focus on the evolving relationship between the movement and the party and what does it mean for BeC to be a “movement-party”. What influence has BeC got from the 15-M movement in terms of frames, organization structures, and political actions? How is BeC keeping a continuous relationship with its ‘indignant base’ and negotiating its double identity? How is BeC managing its participatory democracy component in governing the city? To shed light on these questions we have drawn from in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus groups with Indignados participants and BeC representatives and rank and file activists between the start of the occupation to nowadays.