This week I interviewed some people from Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH), an organisation for people affected by bad mortgages and evictions in Spain. I’ll write it up properly later but a summary of why they seem to be successful:
1. The organisation is a network of local groups made up mostly of those affected by the problems, not composed of self-defined political activists.
2. The PAH gets results, preventing evictions by any means necessary, whether through legal routes or through physically stopping the police from entering buildings.
3. It was preceded by the 15M movement which brought millions of people onto the street and so could build on the assemblies and connections that came out of that.
As an aside, the right wing Spanish government is currently trying to pass a law that will impose massive fines for being present at a protest that doesn’t have police permission or that causes property damage. One nickname for this law is the anti-15M law. It seems that, like in the UK, the government is accompanying destructive social policies with an increase in repression of protest. In neither country is there a mainstream political response to the repression – a protest against this law in Madrid on Saturday drew only a few thousand people – so the repression will likely be successful for now.