Fearless Cities

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Fearless Cities (FC) is the global municipalist movement. It began in 2017 after the first conference in Barcelona to assist all global cities and communities create and / or develop local municipalist projects and political processes to allow citizens have a greater say in what type of city or community they wish to live in.

About Fearless Cities

According to the Fearless Cities website:

In a world in which fear and inequalities are being twisted into hate, “Fearless” towns and cities are standing up to defend human rights, democracy and the common good.
This global municipalist movement met for the first time at the Fearless Cities Summit in Barcelona in June 2017, at the invitation of Barcelona En Comú, with the goal of radicalizing democracy, feminizing politics and standing up to the far right. 
Since then, these neighbourhood movements, mayors and local councilors have been collaborating to build global networks of solidarity and hope from the bottom up.[1]

Origins of Fearless Cities

The citizen platform Barcelona en Comú (BeC)[2] won the 2015 Municipal elections in Barcelona.[3] Along with seven other citizen platforms, this movement subsequently got labelled as the Rebel Cities of Spain.[4] The municipalist win saw the city having its first woman mayor Ada Colau (in over 2,000 years of history) and BeC declared they were developing a "Feminist Democratic Revolution".[5] A week after elections when interviewed on Democracy Now! Colau stated: “We can prove there is another way to govern, more inclusive, working together with the people, more than just asking them to vote every four years. We´re very aware that the real change must be global, that one city alone cannot solve all the problems we´re facing”.[6]

Fearless Cities Conferences

In 2017 BeC set up the first Fearless Cities conference in Barcelona to support other cities who wished to create similar citizen-led change. The conference and new global network had three clear goals:[7]

Work as a global municipalist network
Share tools, knowledge and experiences with municipalist movements from around the world
Feminize politics
Develop new ways of organizing based on horizontal collaboration, collective intelligence and the politics of everyday life
Stop the far right
Combat the politics of hate and fear with local policies to reduce inequality and promote the common good

In 2018 there were four subsequent Fearless Cities conferences around the world:

  1. New York, USA
  2. Warsaw, Poland
  3. Valparaíso, Chile
  4. Brussels, Belgium

Lisbon and Fearless Cities

An early callout for Lisbon groups to connect with Chilean FC conference in November 2018 by the Ecocity Lisboa group: Lisbon and Fearless Cities[8]

At the URBACT City Festival in Lisbon September 2018, Deputy Mayor of the Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Paula Marques stated: “We need to fight the global system with participatory democracy at the level of cities. Going towards fearless cities is a long way and a long task”[9].

References

  1. http://fearlesscities.com/en/about-fearless-cities. Accessed Nov 13th 2019.
  2. https://barcelonaencomu.cat/. Accessed Nov 13th 2019.
  3. http://2017.fearlesscities.com/. Accessed Nov 13th 2019.
  4. https://ecocitylisboa.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/lisbon-fearless-cities/. Lisbon & Fearless Cities. Accessed Nov 13th 2019.
  5. http://www.cm-lisboa.pt/no_cache/noticias/detalhe/article/e-arrancou-o-urbac-city-festival. E arrancou o URBAC City Festival (Original in Portuguese, English translation by wiki editor) Lisbon City Hall website. Accessed Nov 13th 2019.