Kevin Ovenden on Podemos and Syriza (16th Feb)

Greece – Spain – The dominos fall

Kevin Ovenden

Author and commentator on Greece

And a  speaker from Podemos

Monday 16th February 7 pm

The Tetley

Leeds centre near the Aldephi

All welcome

Organized by Leeds Left unity North and East and Podemos

More information email Garth Frankland at

Podemos in Perspective – Manchester (18 Jan)

Circulo Podemos Manchester

Alba Maiques


Podemos IN PERSPECTIVE brings politics to everyone

Podemos Manchester brings the latest Iciar Bollain’s film and opens up a debate about Spanish emigration to everyone

On Sunday 18th January 2015 from 11.30am until 6pm, the “Circulo Podemos Manchester” will host a full day international event “Podemos IN PERSPECTIVE” at the Manchester Conference Centre in Pendulum Hotel (78 Sackville Street, M1 3BB Manchester, UK)

Podemos, an anti-austerity political party formed a year ago in Spain, won 1.2m votes and five seats in May’s European elections and is currently leading in the opinion polls – ahead of the two established parties – with the country’s general elections less than a year away.

In several cities across the UK, Spanish migrants who left the country following the economic crisis have formed groups – called “Circulos” – in support of the party which promises to “work to build a country they can return to.”

This event will bring together local social activists, as well as representatives of political parties in the UK and Europe with similar aims to Podemos, such as Greece’s Syriza. These groups will take part in an open discussion about current affairs and the socio-economic reasons behind growing Spanish emigration.

The event will be split into 3 parts. To begin there will be a presentation by “Circulo Podemos Manchester” (a group of Spanish immigrants living in Manchester who hold regular meetings and events to discuss the political situation in Spain.)

This will be followed by a screening of the political documentary “En Tierra Extraña” (In A Foreign Land) by award-winning Spanish director Iciar Bollaín, and an open discussion about the themes raised in the film around Spanish migration.

The discussion will include a panel of noted guests such as Iciar Bollaín (Director of the movie screened), Marina Prentoulis (Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics at University of East Anglia and member of Syriza), Luis Cordero ((Lecturer in Spanish Cultural Studies at the University of Manchester) and Christopher Perriam (Professor of Hispanic Studies  at the University of Manchester).

Closing the event will be a UK Circulos Assembly, where all the Podemos groups scattered around the UK will be introduced. This session will involve discussions about the different activities of each Circulo and ways of working together on projects that assist Spanish immigrants and support British social movements.

John Harris on Labour’s woes and some better ideas

As we approach that strange once-every-five-year moment when we have to decide whether we can bring ourselves to vote (nationally) for Labour, John Harris  reminds us just how out of touch the current leadership is. But he has some kinder words for its police review writers John Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford, for Compass and Podemos . . . but can Labour ever change sufficiently to capture the fissiparous times we live in now?  Read his interesting article here (in Prospect magazine, December 2014)

Spain’s Podemos – A New Way of Doing Politics? (26 Nov)



Pablo Iglesias greets followers at Podemos national convention


The next Taking Soundings event is on Wednesday 26th November 2014 at 6pm
Antonio Martínez-Arboleda on Podemos: A New Way of Politics?

One of the most intriguing political phenomena this year has been the sudden rise on the Spanish political scene of Podemos, a radical political party based on the indignado 15M movement. Podemos did well in the European elections in May 2015 and after only existing for seven months is now the most popular party in Spain! Can this last?

One of the interesting facets of Podemos is the emphasis it has put on participation via social media. Its recent Citizens’ Assembly had 8000 people attending in person, and 150,000 online.

Does Podemos offer a new model for the European left? Is it just a populist flash-in-the-pan based on a charismatic celebrity intellectual (see photo of Pablo Iglesias above)? We really want to know much more about Podemos, what it stands for and where it is going.

Antonio’s talk and discussion is at 6pm on Wednesday 26th November 2014 at Leeds Beckett University city centre campus: Broadcasting Place, A building, Room G10, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN (opposite the Fenton Pub).

Antonio is Principal Teaching Fellow in Spanish at the University of Leeds.

An important analysis of Podemos by Luke Stobart in Left Flank can be read here 

Contact Matthew Caygill at for more details about this event.

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