(2015) Urban struggles within the 15M movement in Spain [EN]

Monday 23 February 2015, by Miguel Angel Martinez

All the versions of this article: [English]

BETWEEN AUTONOMY AND HYBRIDISATION: URBAN STRUGGLES WITHIN THE 15M MOVEMENT IN SPAIN (book chapter, forthcoming)

Author: Miguel A. Martínez

Since May 15, 2011, the Indignados or 15M movement was the most significant social mobilisation against neo-liberal policies in Spain. Given the diversity of actions, campaigns, groups and messages involved in this movement, there is a great controversy about its consistence, duration and outcomes. However, it is widely recognised that a particular urban struggle, the one against the evictions of foreclosure houses (PAH), has exemplary represented the wave of uprisings unleashed by the 15M movement. In this paper I investigate to what extent this and other urban struggles have been developed within the 15M or due to the new context of mobilisation fueled by the 15M movement -mainly, the protest camps in public spaces, the occupations of houses, community gardens, the campaigns against the privatisation of hospitals and the protests against the cuts in the system of public education. What are the features of these urban movements? How do they face urban neoliberalism? In addition to provide a meaningful answer to these questions, I argue, first, that these urban movements have been crucial in the development of the 15M due to the specific ‘hybrid autonomy’ to which they have contributed. Secondly, I identify the various ways in which autonomous and institutional practices have been combined by these urban movements.