Barcelona, 19 of August 2014
The Guanyem platform has reached its goal of 30,000 signatures of support a month before its deadline. “We sensed that it was time for change so we put forward a proposal. Now, this is no longer just a proposal of the initial group of organizers. It’s a proposal of 30,000 people who agree on the problems we face and share the same dreams and aspirations. There is still a long way to go, but this was the first step in building a tool that will allow us to win back Barcelona and put its institutions at the service of the people; to start a real democratic revolution from the local level”, said Jaume Asens, legal scholar, writer, and spokesperson for Guanyem Barcelona (Let’s win back Barcelona).
Guanyem is a citizen platform whose goal is to win the upcoming municipal elections in Barcelona in order to take back the city and its public institutions, transform the ideas and inertia of old-school politics, and put democracy back at the service of the people. Its aim is to bring together political forces that are critical of the current state of our public institutions and of the way that governments have addressed the economic crisis.
Reaching 30,000 signatures of support is one of the most important steps in the validation of the initiative. The validation process aims to confirm that Guanyem‘s proposal reflects the views of the majority. The first milestone, gathering 30,000 signatures, has been accomplished, and now more signatures will be sought to prove still further that a majority of people want profound change. The planned validation process will continue until the 15th of September with more public meetings in the neighbourhoods of Barcelona. About 2000 people are estimated to have participated in neighbourhood meetings to date. “We’re seeing a real eagerness of many people to break down the false division between those who do politics as professionals and those who are just invited to vote once every four years. Guanyem is proving that people want to participate directly in the matters that affect them and that they are demanding an understanding of politics that goes beyond the traditional institutional structures”, said Joan Subirats, university professor and spokesperson for Guanyem.
In the next phase, which begins on the 16th of September, Guanyem will hold meetings on different issues that affect the city (e.g. health, education, and culture) and will start to build bridges with other political organizations and reach specific agreements on issues and ways of working together.
With this in mind, everyone who has signed up to Guanyem will be invited to a public meeting on the 16th of September and, in October, another public event will be held where various organizations will come together to debate how to move forward towards a shared ethical code. This code will be adopted by all Guanyem candidates and will enable a radical transformation in the relationship between the people and their political and institutional representatives.
Guanyem wants to continue to bring citizens together
We invite citizens to keep on supporting this joint project and participating in the process; to continue to sign up to the manifesto and come to the neighbourhood talks. These talks are spaces where people can debate and share their vision of the kind of city they want to create. “We have reached the 30,000 signatures long before the 15th of September, but we won’t stop here. We will continue to collect signatures and organize more neighbourhood meetings. The more people that make the project their own, the closer we will be to winning back Barcelona by and for the people”, said Ada Colau, anti-eviction campaigner and spokesperson for Guanyem.
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