From Plan C: Radical Municipalism, or how ambitious projects strengthen citizens

ETICA kindergarten, part of the Ciudad Futura movement. Thanks to Open Democracy.

ETICA kindergarten, part of the Ciudad Futura movement. Thanks to Open Democracy.

We have been tracking the rise of radical localism and "municipalism" since the start of A/UK (see theme here). This post on "Radical Municipalism and Directional Demands" comes from Plan C - a new political platform inspired by left-anarchism and the works of Negri & Hardt (previously blogged about here). 

The nub of this (often dense) article is simple: "That the ‘municipal’ – whether we’re talking about towns, cities or city-regions – might be a fundamentally important scale at which, and through which, to generate progressive movements towards post-capitalism".

And "directional demands" are "demands that, in their fulfillment and/or the struggle for their fulfillment, have a concrete effect on how we think about what is possible". Meaning, in essence, that ambitious local projects, once embarked on, can profoundly empower and inspire citizens. 

The article has a useful section on global examples of a "radical municipalism, shaped by directional demands": 

Riace, Italy – the small Italian town that has received global recognition for its successful open door policy towards refugees

Jackson, MI – the American city where predominantly black working-class communities are looking to create a cooperative solidarity economy through a combination of direct action and electoral strategies under the banner of Cooperation Jackson

Naples, Italy – where in 2016 the radicalized mayor De Magistris established a “Department of the Commons”, part of a process of protecting seven properties that had been reclaimed by social initiatives

Rosario, Argentina – where the social movement Ciudad Futura, which has its roots in a network of different types of social reproduction, have also successfully listed a number of candidates for election to the city council

Barcelona, Spain – alongside a number of Spanish cities with similar projects, Barcelona is seen as a ‘flagship’ of this new radical municipalist strategy, where the citizens platform Barcelona en Comú has implemented a number of progressive policies, not least promoting direct citizen involvement in policy development, and a participatory budgeting system to redistribute the excessive politicians wages to activist and community groups.

More here.