Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca
Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages) is a Spanish grassroots organization that takes direct action to stop evictions and campaigns for housing rights. The PAH was set up in Barcelona in February 2009 and by 2017 had 220 local branches across Spain. It was established in response to the 2008 financial crisis that triggered the bursting of the Spanish housing bubble and resists evictions due to foreclosures.
Activity and campaigns
The Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH, Platform for People Affected by Mortgages) was set up in Barcelona in February 2009, by activists previously involved in V de Vivienda (H for Housing). The group aimed to protest and combat the foreclosures which were evicting people from their homes. It is organised horizontally by assembly and grew exponentially across Spain, with 220 local groups recorded by 2017. The group organises non-violent resistance to evictions and campaigns for a social rent and more aid for people unable to pay their mortgages. The PAH had successfully stopped more than 2,000 evictions by 2016.
Ada Colau was one of the founding members of the PAH, acting as its spokesperson until May 2014. Since June 2014, Colau has been a spokesperson for citizen platform Guanyem Barcelona (Let's Win Back Barcelona). She won a simple majority in the elections and on 13 June 2015 she became Mayor of Barcelona for Barcelona en Comú.
PAH achieved notoriety for its practice of "escraches" in which the homes and offices of politicians were visited. Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister condemned escraches as "undemocratic" and María Dolores de Cospedal, Secretary-General of the People's Party called them "pure Nazism". A lawyer representing PAH commented "We don’t like to carry out escraches but they've left us with no other choice".
- García-Lamarca, Melissa (January 2017). "From Occupying Plazas to Recuperating Housing: Insurgent Practices in Spain: From Occupying Plazas To Recuperating Housing". International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 41 (1): 37–53. doi:10.1111/1468-2427.12386.
- Ash, Lucy (19 February 2014). "Ada Colau: Spain's anti-eviction crusader". Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- Blanchar, Clara (7 May 2014). "Ada Colau deja de ser portavoz de la PAH". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 February 2021.
- Burridge, Tom (25 May 2015). "Spain enters a new political era". BBC News. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
- "Spain's anti-evictions lobby wins EU prize". The Local Spain. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "La Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca recibe el Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos". ElDiario.es. January 16, 2013.
- Gonzalez, Robert (2019). "From the Squatters' Movement to Housing Activism in Spain: Identities, Tactics and Political Orientation". Contested cities and urban activism. Singapore. ISBN 978-981-13-1730-9.
- Iturriaga, Mikel López (2 August 2013). "'In Spain you can be a mobster but still merit full institutional approval'". El Pais. Retrieved 25 February 2021.