In a world in which fear and insecurity are being twisted into hate, and inequalities, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise, towns and cities are standing up to defend human rights, democracy and the common good.
In Europe, Refuge Cities are welcoming refugees fleeing war and terror, and pushing national governments and the European Union to do more to prevent death at the continent’s borders.
In the United States, cities are on the front line of resistance to Trump, standing up for diversity, women’s and LGBTI rights, and working to tackle climate change. Sanctuary Cities gained global admiration for recognizing the contributions and rights of undocumented residents and protecting them from deportation.
In Turkey and Syria, Kurdish cities are a beacon of participatory democracy, feminism and human rights in a sea of violence and discrimination.
In Latin America, new municipalist movements are springing up and working to fight poverty and inequality by building economic alternatives from below.
In Hong Kong, young democracy activists have been elected to the city legislature, where they are speaking out against Chinese state repression and censorship.
Democracy was born at local level, and that’s where we can win it back.
Now is the time to demonstrate the potential of towns and cities to resist hate and to spur democratic transformation across the world. In the face of hate, walls and borders, we will build global networks of solidarity and hope among city halls and citizens.
See you in Barcelona from 9-11 of June for Fearless Cities, the international municipalist summit, organized by Barcelona en Comú.