Self-government, or 'municipalism', is changing politics all over the world. This is a guide to winning back our towns and cities from below with real radical policies happening now; practical organizing strategies and tools; and profiles of 50 pioneering municipalist platforms from around the world.
In a world in which fear and insecurity are being twisted into hate, and inequalities, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise, a renewed municipalist movement is standing up to defend human rights, radical democracy and the common good.
In 2015 in Spain, housing rights activist Ada Colau was elected mayor of Barcelona, and movements from the squares won local elections across the country on manifestos pledging to tackle corruption and radicalize democracy. In the United States, cities are on the front line of resistance to Trump, standing up for diversity, women's and LGBTI rights, and working to tackle climate change. In Turkey and Syria, Kurdish democratic confederalism is a beacon of participatory democracy, feminism and human rights in a sea of violence and discrimination. In Latin America, new municipalist movements are springing up and working to fight poverty and inequality by building economic alternatives from below.
It will include:
The theoretical underpinnings of municipalism, including the politics of proximity and the movement's role in feminizing politics and stopping the far right.
Examples of real radical policies being implemented in town and cities across the world to guarantee the right to housing, remunicipalize basic services and democratize decision-making.
Practical organizing strategies and tools from municipalist platforms, from how to draw up a participatory manifesto to how to crowdsource funding or hold a neighbourhood assembly.
Profiles of 50 pioneering municipalist platforms from around the world.
What is municipalism?
1. The future we deserve, Debbie Bookchin
2. On the front line of proximity, Iago Martínez
3. A new life begins in our territories, Jorge Sharp
4. Feminizing politics through municipalism, Laura Pérez
5. Standing up to the far right: brave people, brave cities, Fátima Taleb
6. How to create a participatory municipalist platform (Kate Shea Baird, Claudia Delso and Manuela Zechner)
7. Code of ethics and financing (Xavi Ferrer, Susi Capella, Pantxo Ramas and Yolanda Sánchez)
8. Organizing a municipalist platform: structure and confluence (Marta Junqué, Caren Tepp and Mariano Fernández)
9. Comunicación para el cambio municipalista (Adrià Rodríguez and Alejandra Calvo)
10. Municipalism in small towns and rural areas (Jean Boulton, Mercè Amich and Laura Bergés)
11. Creating non-state institutions (Rocio Novello, Sinam Mohammad and Kevin Buckland)
12. Radical democracy in the city council (Laura Roth, Brad Lander and Gala Pin)
13. Public space (Ana Méndez, Iva Marcetic, Raquel Rolnik and Ksenija Radovanovic)
14. Housing, gentrification and tourism (Paula Marqués, Chloe Eudaly and Vanessa Valiño)
15. The commons (Laia Forné, Giuseppe Micciarelli and Iolanda Fresnillo)
16. Mobility and pollution (Andrea Reimer, César Ochoa, Francesco Luca Basile and Amaranta Herrero)
17. Remunicipalization of basic services (Moises Subirana, Claire Roumet and Olivier Petitjean)
18. Transparency and the fight against corruption (Fèlix Beltran, Anxela Iglesias and Jordi Molina)
19. Economies for the common good (Tánia Corrons, Isabel Álvarez and David Fernández)
20. Sanctuary Cities (Bue Hansen, Anna Rius, Ignasi Calbó and Céline Gagne)
Epilogue: Turning fear into hope (Ada Colau)
Global municipalist map
50 municipalist organizations