The antimonies of the PAH (Platform of Mortgage Victims) in Spain : Between solidarity and political effectiveness

Nuijten, M.C.M.; Vries, P.A. de


In the Platform of Mortgage Victims (PAH) the common view exists that all activists are equal, that there are no leaders, and that there is no division of la-bor between grassroots activists and activist-politicians. We show that the trope of horizontalism (the nonexistence of hierarchy within the platform) in eff ect hides the existence of an unacknowledged leadership structure and of electoral aspira-tions. We argue that the tensions between grassroots activists and emerging activ-ist-politicians stand for a fundamental divide that renders possible a true change in the state of the situation. Th is article draws on the work of Alain Badiou and Jodi Dean to argue that the PAH contributed to the 15M movement as a truth event by staging performances of egalitarianism and cultivating solidarity in a disciplined way.