“A solar panel”, says Pablo Cotarelo, “is a way to redistribute wealth”. The energy analyst is sitting in the little courtyard of Rosa de Foc, a social centre in Barcelona. Inside, members of the food co-op are collecting their weekly fruit and veg; here in the yard a group of activists from the UK are listening to Cotarelo describe the ‘energy revolution’ planned for the city. They’ve come over on a social movement ‘tour’ with Global Justice Now, a group which campaigns against poverty and injustice and pushes for democratic ownership of resources. “We are trying to establish a kind of co-operative with state ownership – a ‘public citizen’ company. It’s a very new proposal, not tried before in Spain”, explains Cotarelo. The radical plan is made possible by the takeover of City Hall by ‘citizen’s platform’ Barcelona En Comu last year. De-privatising water and energy is high on the agenda.
Bella Caledonia 11th May 2016 read more »