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How to have a conversation with someone who thinks evictions are fair play

14 June 2021

Let’s start with an example. In 2010, Elisabet heard about a flat in a social housing block in Lavapiés that had sat empty for five years. She broke in, changed the locks, and made it her family home. With three children, now aged 14, 15 and 23, she was recently handed an eviction notice by the council telling her to move out.

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Madrid Election Talk: Barriers to abortion

30 April 2021

Madrid is world-famous for its lively LGBTQ+ scene, multiculturalism and the hedonistic Movida Madrileña which undeniably lives on. But, in the background of Pride celebrations and behind balconies decorated with feminist symbols, residents of the Comunidad de Madrid are denied fundamental freedoms.

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Madrid Election Talk: The battle for Madrid

30 April 2021

On 4 May, the Comunidad de Madrid will go to the polls electing the 136 deputies that make up the Regional Assembly. One of the crown jewels of Spain’s autonomous regions, the election is also a bellwether for the broader mood of the country and a chance for the region to give its verdict on the response to the pandemic that has killed nearly 15,000 people in the Comunidad alone.

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Madrid Election Talk: Pin parental

29 April 2021

The Right is famous for writing and re-writing school history books in favour of conservative narratives, distorting society’s view from an early age. Now, they want to hinder children’s understanding of the world even further by censoring feminism and LGBTQ+ rights.

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Serigne Mbaye: from ‘mantero’ to activist to future member of parliament

28 April 2021

I know Serigne Mbaye from the grassroots activism circuit in Lavapiés, where he regularly frontlines at protests with powerful anti-racism speeches. It’s no surprise to those who know him that he’s now running for election in the Madrid Regional Government with Unidas Podemos, where he’s set to become one of Spain’s first Black members of parliament, and achieve many other firsts too.

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Madrid Election Talk: Gender inequality, domestic violence and reproductive rights

25 April 2021

The pandemic hasn’t affected everyone equally. In fact, it has exacerbated and deepened pre-existing inequalities. During lockdown last year, Madrid alone recorded a 37% increase in calls to its regional helpline for gender violence. Due to the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, women in the capital have evidently been disproportionately affected in comparison with their male counterparts.

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Madrid Election Talk: Period poverty, tampon tax and women’s rights

24 April 2021

Period poverty is an umbrella term describing the socioeconomic barriers which prevent women, girls, and people who menstruate from managing their periods safely, and with dignity. It manifests itself in various ways, from the unseen (skipping meals to scrape together money for tampons and toilet paper) to the severe (lacking access to a bath or shower).

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Madrid Election Talk: Unaccompanied migrant children

22 April 2021

First of all, we need to stop calling unaccompanied migrant children menas. This is an acronym for menores extranjeros no acompañados (unaccompanied foreign minors) – in other words, children who leave their country and travel alone without the company of an adult.

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Madrid Election Talk: The platform giving immigrants the right vote

22 April 2021

Lavapiés, Usera, Carabanchel, Vallecas, Orcasitas and Villaverde have a high percentage of immigrant residents but also some of the lowest percentages of people with the right to vote. In Lavapiés, the most multicultural neighbourhood in Spain, up to a third of residents hold a foreign passport and, even if they’re registered here and pay their taxes, they still don’t have the right to vote in regional and national elections.

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Madrid Election Talk: Car emissions, the incineration plant and up to 5,000 preventable deaths

21 April 2021

When it comes to environmental policies between the left and right in Madrid, the difference is a chasm. On the left, turning Madrid into a green capital and world leader in sustainability is one of the fundamental tenets of the campaign. On the other side, the views range from members of ultra-right Vox who deny climate change exists to the more mainstream – and arguably more dangerous – point of view of the PP, which is that climate change is happening, it just doesn’t really matter.

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Mame Mbaye, his disputed cause of death and his anti-racism legacy explained

16 March 2021

Mame Mbaye was a Senegalese migrant who arrived in Madrid in 2006, and three years ago yesterday he died. There are two very different versions of what happened: one reported by the police and the other by his friends. The police version stands, but the 12 years leading up to his death match up far more with the account of his friends, that what killed Mame Mbaye was institutional racism.

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