In Cameroon, Daniel Nonze explained the Association des Amoureux du Livre pour le Développement Local explained strategy with communities focusing on mobilization and training as well as documentation of forced eviction to gather accurate information and mapping the cases in a participatory manner. Daniel Nonze also added the work with the communities to understand and defend their rights and be able to claim them.
The intervention from Paco Morote, Spokesperson from the Plataforma Afectados por la Hipoteca ( Platform for Mortgage Victims) in Spain, argued their important lobbying work to empower people affected by evictions, accompany them collectively and stop the forced eviction when needed. Another fundamental part of this Platform tactics lay in putting pressure on the politicians, giving visibility to the movement and the existing problems so that people can identify with them. Besides, the promotion of changes in existing legislation to guarantee the right to housing is part of their strategy, with the successful example of the law 24/2015 in Catalonia.
The conversation also included the perspective from local governments, with Barcelona’s City Council approach on housing explained by Eduard Cabré, International Relations Consultant at Barcelona Housing Department. The tactics of the city include the pressure on national governments to guarantee human rights, the fight of crucial battles like forced evictions and the rent control, and pilot co-production solutions between governments and civil society groups. At a long-term level the city plans to bring housing up to the level of education and healthcare within the welfare state as well as to enhance the housing co-production (social production, public-cooperatives of housing, between others)
Lorena Zárate from the Global Platform for the Right to the City and former HIC President summarised the main ideas addressed in this panel highlighting that in the last 20 years, there were many very accelerated changes, and now more than ever the strategies used by social movements indeed to be combined “with the mobilization of public opinion, awareness raising and important training, even towards the institutions”. Lorena stated that the role of the public sector must be strengthened in a participatory and inclusive manner. According to Lorena, this is a discourse of political and public actors who have to commit more, because of the neoliberal mantra: “This must be changed urgently. The public needs to be re-imaginated”.