PODEMOS BACKS JEREMY CORBYN’S CANDIDACY FOR LABOUR LEADER

Círculo Podemos Londres

PRESS RELEASE

The Podemos International Secretariat, together with the London and Yorkshire Podemos Circles, would like to express their support for Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy for the leadership of the Labour party. We believe it’s great news for both the Labour Party and the UK as a whole to have somebody with Corbyn’s integrity, values, and experience running for this position. The momentum his campaign has gained over the last few weeks, and the enthusiasm and hope it has triggered across the UK, demonstrate how Corbyn offers something that neither the Conservatives nor New Labour could: a solid alternative to socially irresponsible and austericidal policies, a new type of politics, based on engagement and participation, with people’s wellbeing, social justice and democracy at its heart. Labour, like many of its European counterparts, including PSOE in Spain, is at a historical juncture: it needs to decide whether it is to continue defending…

View original post 254 more words

November 29th: Debate with P. Echenique in London

EMPOWERING THE VOICELESS MAJORITY: RETHINKING DEMOCRACY IN EUROPE

Our global political system urgently needs a radical change through collective empowerment: the social majority is impaired by a lack of representation and a distrust in mainstream politics, as well as suffering the burden of a failed economical system only working out for a minority at the top.

In this debate we will discuss the necessity to give a voice to the unrepresented majority and the need to establish connections between different European groups and organisations. We will also analyse the startling rise of Podemos in Spain through practices based on inclusion and popular participation.

With:

  • Pablo Echenique: Member of European Parlament from Podemos (Spain), columnist and scientist with the Spanish National Research Council.
  • Salma YaqoobHead of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, spokesperson for the Birmingham Central Mosque and former leader of the Respect Party.
  • Marina Prentoulis: member of Syriza (Greece), Senior Lecturer, School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia.
  • Emanuele Ferragina: Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford, columnist and author of a recent book The invisible majority.

Other organisations, such as Sinistra Ecologia Libertà (Italy) and others tbc will also join in the debate.

Date and time: 29th November, from 5 to 7pm.
Doors will open at 4:30pm
Location: JZ Young Lecture Theater, Anatomy Building, en University College London , Gower St, London WC1E 6BT. Map here.

* Please reserve your (free) ticket as soon as possible, as this is a popular event with limited sitting capacity

About Podemos’ Citizens Assembly

Following the recent coverage of our first major event in London by British media, we’ve received several information requests regarding Podemos in general, and ongoing Citizen’s Assembly in particular. There’s plenty of information about the process in Spanish, but we’ve noticed there’s nothing in English so far, so here’s a summary of the key points:

What is Podemos?

Podemos is a tool for citizen empowerment, which aims to transform popular outrage into political change capable of  reclaiming the institutions and putting them at the service of the citizens. It was registered as a party in March last year, and ran what’s been described as the most effective campaign of the European Elections, obtaining 5 MEPs. Since then popular support for Podemos has kept growing exponentially, becoming the second political force in direct voting intention, according to the most recent poll.

Nevertheless, Podemos is not just a party, it’s a citizen’s initiative that aims to build democracy through citizen participation and popular unity. At its heart are over a 1000 assemblies or ‘circles’, horizontally-organised, locally-held meetings, in which people from across the political spectrum gather to discuss and decide how to turn their frustration into effective political action. We propose simple but deep changes: to reclaim democracy, place politics at the service of people and Human Rights, and to be able to choose the economic model in which we work and live.

In its few months of life, Podemos has already radically changed Spain’s political climate, but the greatest challenges are still ahead, and we need to build a solid and genuniely democratic structure capable of facing them.

What’s the Citizens’ Assembly?

At Podemos, our commitment to democracy permeates not just our structures but also our actions. Democracy is not just something we advocate, it’s also something we do. The Citizen’s Assembly is our great democratic event, were we’ll decide how Podemos should work and be structured, from the local assemblies to the national forums, and their political representatives. It will take place between Sep 15 and Nov 15, and everybody is welcome to join in and contribute. It is a fairly complex process, composed of several phases:

15th-28th Sep: Submission of drafts.

Three types of drafts of principles can be submitted: organisational, ethical, and political. These are submitted and discussed online, in a Reddit-based platform known as Plaza Podemos, accessible to everyone, and in which anyone can participate.

15th Sep.15th Oct: Draft convergence

Throughout the process, the authors of the drafts will aim to converge,  building on similarities and working on discrepancies, to reduce the final number of drafts to be voted.

28th Sep-15th Oct: Submission of ‘resolutions’

‘Resolutions’ are short texts (max. 1 page) which summarise a consensus within Podemos regarding a particular topic (e.g. Gaza’s situation). They cannot deal with strategic or manifesto points, or any other aspect covered by the drafts.

18th-19th Oct: Face-to-face meeting.

Over a weekend in Madrid, the authors of the final drafts will deffend their proposals, and the drafts will be discussed and debated. Anybody is welcome to join the discussion, and over 10,000 people have already confirmed their attendance.

16th-18th Oct: Voting of resolutions.

This will be done online, and 5 will be chosen.

20-26th Oct:  Voting of drafts

Again, this will be done online, and anybody registered will be able to vote.

28th Oct-5th Nov: Presentation and promotion of candidates

Following the approval of an organisational principles document, people will put themselves forward for the positions outlined in the chosen document.

8th Nov: Candidate debate.

Will take place in a TV studio and will be live-streamed.

10th-14th Nov: Candidate elections.

As with the rest, the voting will take place online, and anybody who’s registered will be able to vote.

15th Nov: Presentation of elected officers and closure of the Citizen’s Assembly


You can find more detailed information about the Citizens’ Assembly here (in Spanish)

Here is some more coverage of Podemos in the English-speaking platforms: